Monday, December 20, 2010

Yule Ball 2010

Last night, Anna and I attended the Yule Ball.  The Yule Ball, for those of you who haven't read Harry Potter (OMG, where have you been, go read them RIGHT NOW!), occurred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and was a dance around Christmas as part of the festivities of the Triwizard Tournament.

The Yule Ball that took place in Cambridge, MA last night was a Wizard Wrock concert.  Yes, there is Wizard Wrock.  Wizard Wrock is music that is inspired by the works of J.K. Rowling.  It was begun in Massachusetts in 2002, by brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge, who formed the group Harry and the Potters.  It has quite a following now, with many, many groups of all different kinds.  Wizard Wrock is awesome as it promotes literacy.  The motto of The Remus Lupins is "Fight evil, read books."  Wizard Wrock is also a strong promoter of social justice.  Wrock groups stand behind The Harry Potter Alliance, created by Andrew Slack of Somerville, MA, which encourages lovers of Harry Potter to fight real evil in the world.

So, Wizard Wrock = amazing.  Thus Anna and I donned our Ravenclaw scarves and off we went to the 6th annual Yule Ball.  This was also the first year there were Yule Balls in both Philadelphia and New York.  The Yule Ball is an all ages concert, so as we were waiting in line we got to see a number of painfully adorable children in full-on Harry Potter costumes.  The Yule Ball encourages fancy dress, but for the most part people were in jeans with Harry Potter scarves and hats.  Some people were dressed as characters and some were in dresses and more formal wear.  Everyone was very excited.
There was a 21 and up section, which when we arrived, was not to crowded (it filled up later on in the evening) so we got our Harry Potter themed drinks (which were a bit of a disappointment) and staked out a good spot.

The Potter Puppet Pals hosted the evening.  If you have not seen the Potter Puppet Pal skits you should do so immediately, they're hysterical.  The Dumbledore puppet introduced each set.  First up was Jason Anderson.  I was kind of confused as to why there were a couple non-Wizard Wrock bands in the lineup when there are so many Wizard Wrock groups to choose from, but oh well, everyone was fun.  Jason warmed up the crowd with some festive holiday music and ended the set with "Don't Stop Believing," because that song will never die.

We then had our first Wizard Wrock group, The Whomping Willows, which is made up of one person, Matt Maggiacomo.  Matt was adorably awkward and nerdy, as most of the acts were to be.  We have found our people!  He played excellent songs such as "I Believe in Nargles", and "Draco and Harry" which I especially enjoyed.  You can listen to some more of his songs on his MySpace page.

After The Whomping Willows Andrew Slack of The Harry Potter Alliance talked about the Deathly Hallows Campaign.  This is a campaign to destroy seven real world horcruxes.  The first two horcruxes have already been revealed.  The first is the dementor horcrux, which fights against feeling bad about yourself for the way you look, dress, your sexual orientation, ethnicity, anything.  As Andrew so fabulously put it, "If Harry Potter has taught us anything, it's that no one should ever have to live in the closet."  The second horcrux is the starvation horcrux, and there were petitions going around for this one at the concert.  The Harry Potter Alliance is trying to get Warner Bros. to make sure all chocolate products with the Harry Potter name are fair trade products and don't use child labor or workers who are forced into horrible conditions.

Next we had Math the Band, which was another non-Potter group.  I couldn't understand a single word they were saying, and all their songs kind of sounded the same, but man, they sure were enthusiastic about it!  They were also very loud.

And then!  The group that I was most excited about.  Draco and the Malfoys.  Heart.  Would one of them perhaps like to marry me?  Can we at least be friends?  They are so fabulous, and have the funniest songs.  We got to hear "Potions Yesterday," "Your Family is Poor,"  "My Dad is Rich," and of course, "Party Like You're Evil" and lots more.  Check them out on their MySpace page.

The Potter Puppet Pals performance was up next.  We have some videos for you so you can experience the awesome.  The back-story: Hogwarts is having a "The Most Beautiful Person at Hogwarts" competition.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione are participating, of course.  There are three sections, formal wear, musical talent, and personality.  Here's a clip from formal wear (sorry for the poor quality!)

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Anna and I were very big fans of Hermione's musical talent section.  You can probably see why:

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Although really, Hermione, the print version of Encyclopedia Britannica just isn't practical.  Get yourself an online subscription.  It's updated frequently!

And here's a clip from the personality section, where the students are asked for the meaning of Christmas, who they'd kiss beneath the mistletoe, and what their Christmas wish would be.  Ron ending up winning the competition, but I feel very strongly it should have been Hermione.

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To finish the evening off, we had Harry and the Potters themselves.  They were adorable, have I mentioned how adorable everyone was?  They revved up the crowd with "New Wizard Anthem," and played some great songs including "Save Ginny Weasley."  Listen to more music on their MySpace page.

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We had a great time, are planning how we can make all the Wrock musicians our friends, and are looking forward to going again next year!

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