You make that sound dirty

This last week has been all about Harry Potter. Okay, not all about, but it’s been a recurring theme.

YouTube – Red State Update: Harry Potter

Travelled to Portland to see Harry and The Potters [also] on stage. The show was at the Wonder Ballroom, which was a pretty cool venue. I mean that it was spiffy. The temperature was astonishingly hot both outside and inside the venue.

The opening band was Blubird. The music was pretty good down-beat emo with a bit of punk. I was initially disappointed that there were not other Wizard Rock bands playing that show. But, when I realized the two women on stage were only 13, then I had a whole new sense of how good they were. The women in Blubird also made guest appearances during the Harry and The Potters set. Apparently these women graduated from Portland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, which is such a cool notion that I wish I was a young woman. Er, never mind that. Nothing to see here; move along.

Then, came the main attraction: Harry and The Potters. It was a short set of short songs, but played with so much energy it felt like a full show by a big name act. These men have a very polished act comprised of audience participation, witty banter and savage punk with some emo rock. All in all, quite a show that I heartily recommend.

I also highly recommend bringing earplugs to save you the damage you will otherwise suffer.

One of the particular attractions to going to Portland for this event was that the boys in the band announced they would be going to a midnight showing of the new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie after.

So, after the concert, I waited around for a couple of hours eating sushi with friends, or not eating sushi because the lame restaurant plonked down all the vegetarian sushi on a big plate with the nasty fish flesh stuff in a way that made it impossible to tell them apart … and I ended up with a mouth full of disgusting fish and lost my appetite for any more.

Then, went to the movie. This was no ordinary showing. The media showed up. They gave away presents in what really seemed to be a rigged costume contest. I say rigged because it seemed to me like the winners had been picked before the popular voting had even started … I guess art imitates life, eh?

This midnight showing was very lively and rambunctious. Lots of jokes, even unintended ones, got laughter and there were boos for some characters and applause for others. I mean, really: how can one not laugh at the dirty joke inherent in the guy in a kilt following a goat in a mangy pub? or, guffaw at the inappropriateness of a naked adult wearing a fur overcoat huddled with a strikingly handsome young boy in a train station waiting room? That’s only a couple of the strange things in this movie …

… that I really wish had been in focus. My, but how lame is that? For shame, Lloyd Cinemas!

One of the other highlights of the night was that pre-arranged song everyone that was at the concert knew about for Hagrid’s first appearance on screen:


The night was not over until I could hit the sack around 4 am for a few hours before driving back to Olympia.

And, then, a few days later, Harry and the Potters were in Olympia. At the library. For free! Only, they were sold out. Wait, what?

Yeah. Apparently, there were tickets issued in order to control the number of people in the building because of fire code. But, the band apparently didn’t know there would be tickets issued. I certainly didn’t know until someone told me they heard someone saying that … it was sold out.

But, my partner got tickets! She was given tickets to the show. Then, she gave them away to someone that wanted to go. Well, fine. That’s cool and all since we’d seen them a few days before, but still a bummer to have to be in the waiting line hoping to make the cut in without a ticket.

Only, my partner decided that since we didn’t have tickets we wouldn’t leave the house until the doors opened … Um. No, we need to go early to see if we can get tickets and to get in the freakin’ line! But, we were late enough that we were just a couple people away from the cut off point. However, we did get to see the people we gave up our tickets to skip past us inside …

We decided to wait outside and see if we could make it in. But, man, people were really a bunch of whiners about not getting in, and bitchy about who was next in the line to go in when space was available. Blah.

Lots of people in costumes and lots in Wizard Rock shirts. At one point, I was saying, “I really need a Remus Lupins shirt.” And, someone with exactly that showed up in line behind me. Cool.

There was a group of people behind us in line in costume. One member of that group was a young woman with a wand in her hair, and a great Hogwarts school uniform. Wow, she was sad about not getting in. She was probably one of the people that didn’t know there were going to be tickets because she would have freakin’ camped out in the library just for tickets. So sad! She was rocking herself back and forth with her eyes closed trying not to bawl.

My partner and I tried to convince the staff holding the door to let the costumed people go in first, because they deserved it. But, no go.

One woman came out of the library and the staff person told her to pick someone to take her place. So, I leaned over and whispered to her that she should pick the girl in the costume with the wand in her hair … and she did.

Yeah, faith in humanity restored!

My partner was wearing her Harley Quinn shirt, which, you know, is pretty hot. Only, I felt horrible because while we were standing in line waiting outside, the staff on the door spotted the shirt and started to talk really very shockingly loud about Batman and Harley Quinn. Here we are outside a concert, about 20 people, trying to hear the music from inside that we’re not allowed in to hear … and this guy is going on about Batman.

Ugh. And, it was hurting my head. Loud music, loud conversation and even louder Batman trivia …

A few songs into the set, apparently the fire marshal had given the okay to let everyone in that was outside, so we did get to be inside for most of the show.

I was a bit surprised at how much of the set was the same as the Portland show, but there was a great moment under the library skylight when the band was doing “Enchanted Ceiling” and pointed out the reflection of the crowd above. “The Enchanted Ceiling is you!”

Damn, but I forgot ear plugs again! What? I couldn’t hear you, sorry!

This was definitely a shorter show than Portland, but had good energy. The crowd in Olympia was definitely more high school and junior high than the Portland crowd was. In Portand, I was surprised how the crowd was a lot older than I thought it would be. Sure, there were a few adults with little children at both, but not so nearly so many young adults as in Olympia.

Then, I saw the film again because someone had bought tickets for others that could not go. I say I saw the film, but really I only saw part of the film. Who knew it would take a freakin’ hour to drive across Olympia? When did traffic get so bad here? I just don’t drive in town enough, or during rush hour, to know. And, how strange it seems to talk about rush hour in a town like Olympia!

The second time watching the film … was surprising. The film was the same, but the audience was cold fish. They were apparently slept through most of the film, for all the silence and stoicism they mustered.

Then again, some friends were at the same showing and I was introduced to someone wearing a Harley Quinn shirt, and who had a Harley Quinn costume for Halloween. Oh, be still my cheating heart! Luckily I was saved by the power of my sense of propriety from asking for pictures.

Somehow, I ended up going to the movie again yesterday for a matinee. I haven’t seen a movie multiple times in the cinema in a long time, and just in the past week I’ve been to 3 showings of this movie.

I know how I felt the first night, morning actually, in Portland. I felt that there were some great bits, but even going to see it with a crowd of really good fans didn’t shake a feeling that somehow this was the end. The whole thing felt over, and that it just wasn’t worth it from here on out.

The 3rd movie was astounding, and the movies have been down hill since. They’ve been fun and all, but the 3rd movie was a great movie. It was not just a good Harry Potter movie, but all around a great movie. I remember being in the cinema with my jaw dropped open at how awesome the 3rd movie was as a piece of cinema artistry.

But, this 5th movie … was too predictable, too arch, too much a formula action film. It just didn’t have the extra spell of magic about it that it should have, that the 3rd movie had in spades, and was already fading fast in the 4th.

The thing about the books is that they are detective stories at heart, to me. And, to take a detective story and turn it into an action film is much the same as just making another installment of the Batman franchise … hey, even the palette of colours in this 5th Harry Potter movie could have been a match for one of the early Tim Burton Batman movies.

I miss the magic already. I get some of it back when I listen to my CDs of Harry and the Potters, Roonil Wazlib, and The Remus Lupins, but I loved the 3rd movie so much I want to marry it. And, I feel like I’ve had my heart broken with what’s become of the movies to which I proposed. What happened to the movies I fell in love with?

I guess, we’ll always have our memories … until we don’t.