A compilation of random and interesting things, musings, musics, videos, and more. Brought to you by a UChicago student with a penchant for procrastination.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry And The Potters

July is clearly the month that Potter mania reigns supreme. With everything from the fifth movie to the new book (COMING OUT TOMORROW) there is no better time to be a wizard-enamored muggle! Case in point, everything even remotely connected with the books is receiving a magical boost in hype.

The music scene is definitely one that seems to be the most interestingly affected. Taking a cursory glance at myspace reveals a plethora bands spouting lyrics about the boy wizard and the magical world at large.
Draco and the Malfoys, The Whomping Willows, The Parselmouths, The Moaning Myrtles, The Remus Lupins, The Ministry of Magic - they're all real groups which have all sprung up in the wake of the series' popularity. With genres ranging from techno to rock and 'other' they all share a common comedic core that transforms the tribulations of life as a wizard into songs like "Voldemort can't stop the rock!"

Another factor which connects all of these niche groups is the fact that they're getting A LOT of attention. All of the groups listed above are currently on tour at venues all across the nation.

But who would have these Potter-obsessed groups? Well ... In a classic example of synergy bookstores and libraries are more than willing to grant these bands exposure in exchange for bringing in the rabid Potter crowd! The fans are happy, the bands sell merchandise, and the purveyors of books will hopefully have fans coming in long after the Potter hype has died away.

Harry and the Potters, one of the groups at the forefront of the musical mania, was just at the Harold Washington Library two nights ago with a free concert. Performing on the ninth floor atrium, home to events like Chicago Metro History Fair competition, the re -purposing of this space was not to be missed. The fans came out in full force, completely maxing out the 500 person capacity of the venue.

My friend and I arrived just a half an hour before the performance was about to start and were met with a long line of fans sitting along the wall of the ground floor marble hallway. Apparently tickets were needed for this event and some people had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to reserve a spot! Well ... not having realized this beforehand and sans-tickets we decided to investigate anyways ... lets just say that by a stroke of luck and probably a bit of magic we got our hands on two tickets!

Now able to get past the guards and get our hands stamped for admission (there were awesome Lightning bolt stamps) we rushed in just as the crowd was getting ready to welcome the Potter duo. With handmade wands at the ready, and even giant foam hands the crowd was REALLY into it. The librarians had put out activity packets on each of the chairs, consisting of crossword puzzles, potter tattoos, and even DIY Hogwarts ties that you could color in, but those were put aside as soon as the prompt to rock was put forth!

Who here tonight feels like a muggle?

The Potter duo, consisting of Paul and Joe DeGeorge, Harry Potters Year 7 and Year 4 respectively, were clearly enjoying themselves on stage, and the crowd reception could not have been better. For all of the high school and college kids in the crowd no one was too self-conscious to participate. Indie kids and 7 year olds alike sang-along to songs like "Hagrid is full of love" and most everyone felt free to indulge their inner book nerd (who wouldn't with lyrics like "This book is so awesome!")

Here's an animated image of everyone getting into a particularly rousing song!

I have no idea who that guy with the glasses and the tattoos is (on the far right),
but he was probably the most into-it of the lot. He was totally rocking out up front.

A better view of the stage and of the entire group.

That has got to be one of the coolest guitar straps!

The two would stop between songs and talk for a bit. The younger brother was definitely excited about all of their songs and would build up the crowd before each one.

See them jump and interact with the crowd for the SPEW song!

Joe right after the show, before the signing session.

Stef and the drummer. I really wish I had caught his name!
He was super nice and even got my friend one of their drum covers for her birthday!

When he said that "it's been through a lot" he wasn't kidding.
Is it me or is that blood on it?!

Getting my Harry and the Potters shirt signed.

This photo came out sort of weird. But it's all good!

All in all it was a night of fun music, Harry Potter, and supremely good luck! Afterwards we couldn't help but go see the fifth movie in theaters again. If you get a chance to see these guys live or any other tribute band I highly recommend it. While the books are really great of their own accord, the feeling of being involved with this magical community is really neat - especially when you can see the sorts of things that come from it.

If you want any more information on the group you can check out their webpage.

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