You may remember them from a plug that I posted here on Friday, April 13, 2012; but for those of you that don’t know, it is a Steampunk band based off Seattle. They were playing Saturday, January 11th on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. I have been a fan of their music since 2007, but this has been my first time ever seeing them live… and I do believe now that it was at the right place and the right time. The venue was absolutely appropriate, as was the event.
MEETING ABNEY PARK:
I wasn’t sure that I would make it to the Abney Park meet and greet, but managed to do so since my shift was delayed for half an hour. I made my way to the Royal Salon and sat amongst several themes of Steampunk enthusiasts to wait. They were very approachable from the get go, and even though I was very nervous, I still got to talk to them a few times. My anxiety was through the roof, but I managed to pull it together. It's hard to meet people that you admire without masking your admiration.
The first one I got to meet was Daniel. He was very open, as they all are, and friendly. Second up came Jody, who offered to take selfies with me and answered questions about the band. She was very attentive, and introduced me to Captain Robert.
I had the chance to ask Robert about the concept of some of my favorite songs. What began as a connection drawn between Herr Drosselmeyer’s Doll and The Nutcracker ended up being a conversation about cultures and travel. We discussed what it means to find that ‘niche’ place you belong in following frequent travels throughout your life. He applied “The Traveler’s Curse” to time as well. The Traveler’s Curse is that feeling that you get after you travel numerous times. No one city stands out, you get used to the variety and the effect is lost. He applied it to time as well, or rather the feeling of alienation to the times that you live in.
He told me about the song Ancient World, being a reaction to a place where churches and monuments from the past being torn down in order to make way for capitalism. Malls and technology built on top of historical landmarks erase the history of a culture. He concluded the story with details about how the culture rebelled against its government for steamrolling over their history.
I cringe a little when I think back on the experience. In my excitement I was very electric, bordering on over-excited. Finally, I told myself to just accept it as it is, because this is an experience that I rarely ever get to have and because the whole weekend was a treat to pamper myself. I work so hard to sustain myself that I barely ever let go and just have fun. Thinking back to the day before, that is precisely what Thee Bluebeard told me in his spiritual consultation. He said to stop being so cautious and just be happy for once. Those were good words of advice.
The next time I saw Abney Park again was at the show. They played two sets. I particularly enjoyed their custom instruments, which are adorned with gears and what looked like paint from where I was standing. Kristina's keyboard stand was lovely! From my angle of the show it was unfortunately hard to get a good picture of her.
Seeing Abney Park play live is great. We were in the right venue and dressed just right for the musical experience; imagine listening to music harkening back to a previous time in a historical museum. The ballroom was absolutely gorgeous; it was a true luxury to dance in a ship that made its maiden voyage in 1936. Given the history of the ship, the Post-Apocalyptic themes of Abney Park were quite relevant.
There was great rapport between the band members and the audience.
I am not yet an expert in time travel, but I did not need to even think about the concept. Dancing to the songs that you resonate with, being surrounded by people dressed in bustle skirts and suits with top hats, being in the midst of a historic ballroom, and not having to feel worried about judgment or feeling out of place was a real luxury. You don’t need a time machine that will take you further back in time to the 1800s in order to really have a taste of what it would be like to attend a Victorian ball.
After the show, the band members tended to people at the merchandising table. I had my Steampunk Symposium badge signed as well as the Wrath of Fate book by Captain Robert. I resonated with his travel stories from my own ventures, and figured that a man who has traveled so far and seen so many things has something valuable to say. The first paragraph reads thus:
Show me a man who grew up with a happy childhood, no blood or broken glass in his youth, and I will show you a man who likely has nothing to contribute to society. The same wounds that can turn a man to a villain, might instead turn him into a hero, an artist, or a leader.
I resonate with that.
I feel very happy with the amount of energy invested in the Steampunk Symposium. In volunteering to work, I got new experiences under my belt and met some amazing visionaries along the way. I walk away with dozens of pictures to commemorate a most magical experience on board the Queen Mary. It was absolutely worth it and unforgettable.
Hope you enjoy reading these reviews.