The World Steam Expo 2011 – Friday Evening

I can’t do it and may as well admit defeat at the outset. There is no way that I can feasibly do justice in covering the
World Steam Expo. Most conventions will have one or two concerts and one or two dances and a few really interesting events interspersed during the convention and I usually feel like I can spend some quality time ateach one and still adequately cover the convention.

When I looked at the schedule earlier this week I thought, “Oh my goodness!” Not only do they have most (if not all) of the great acts that they had last year, they added more! I was at Katsu Con in Washington D.C. earlier this year and one of the main acts they had was the Clockwork Dolls. Katsu Con was a much larger event in the nation’s capital at a venue that was so much more expensive that, suffice it to say, just my parking for the weekend cost me more than I often pay for a weekend at a hotel for most cons (including this one!)  The World Steam Expo added them almost as an afterthought (“Oh yes, we also have Clockwork Dolls this year. Ho hum.”) I also noticed that the four day Memorial Day weekend convention had Day 0 activities (including Monte Carlo Night!) on Thursday for early arrivals so I was already over a day behind when I got here!

Last night I spent my time dashing from event to event and from one end of the convention center to the other trying to cover multiple events concurrently. Tartanic got a late start due to sound problems and the first part of the Aegis Boarding Party (Lighter Than Aire Boarding Actions!) consisted of instructions on how to stealthily infiltrate an airship so I snapped a few pics and then ran to the opposite end of the facility where I caught a bit of the seminar Of Stockings and Steam by Hayley Jane.

After catching some pics and words of wisdom from the lovely Hayley Jane I doubled back to the Tartanic concert, stopping along the way to chat with a couple friends (all the while having the sinking feeling I had missed the Titanic, er, Tartanic Concert.) Tartanic mixes drums, dance, violins, and bagpipes, tosses in some burlesque humor and even a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace with the ladies doing a beautiful, interpretive dance to the music (calling to mind a Biblical verse, “Where sin abounds Grace does, much more abound.” and one from Billy Joel, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, sinners are much more fun…”)

I then popped over to the Bawdy Boys concert which was already in progress by several pints.  As their name implies the Bawdy Boys tend to be rather, well, bawdy.  Their songs are heavy in the old Irish flavor with a strong scent of rum and to say their humor is off color would be putting in mildly.  Heavily into the browns, yellows, and sickly green mists would probably be more accurate.  A fine example would be when they said, um, no, can’t repeat that…  Well, they said…  No, not that either.  Well, they said, “A TOAST!” and then gave a toast.  Repeatedly.  Suffice it to say that they didn’t let their throats dry and they kept the audience laughing when they weren’t humming along or tapping to the rhythm of their music.

When the Bawdy Boys took an intermission to go out and shake down, er, shake hands with the crowd, I ran back to catch the Dance with Spin Dr. Downey.  Along the way I was shocked by the horror of destruction and Nerf wrought death in the hallways as the Aegis group had expanded beyond the confines of their panel room and were fighting over the halls of the convention center.

I spent the last hour or two of the evening (prior to returning to my hotel room and spending a few hours working on my photos) at the dance shooting pics of the dancers and enjoying the music.  Initially the dance floor was pretty bare and the lights dim but as things went on the jazzed up the lighting and more and more dancers came onto the floor.  I don’t know if it was the darkness that made them reluctant or that there was so much going on that the dance had to wait for the pool party, concert, and boarding parties to disperse before people would come to the dance (I know there was at least one couple that came in from the pool party as I was leaving.)

At this point I am already making tough choices.  After 4 hours of sleep I was up and writing this and another post and looked at the schedule to see that I would be missing the Abney Park concert for today but fortunately there is another tomorrow night and I will catch them then.  There are still several great acts out there I haven’t even mentioned.  By the end of the weekend I will probably be on entertainment overload!  All in all is has been a great convention to this point with the promise of much, much more!

More to come and if you can make it, there is still more left of the World Steam Expo than most have before they start!  If you can’t well, here are a few more pics of what you are missing.  Also, check out my contests and take a prize or two of my hands.

About the author

Weird AKA John Collins

John N. Collins is a writer, photographer, game & coloring book designer and a bad dancer. Any resemblance to the King John character is merely a coincidence. Follow John N. Collins: YouTube Facebook Fan Page Facebook Personal Account Instagram Twitter