Monday, January 16, 2012

John Green Tour: Don't Forget To Be Awesome

Tuesday, January 7, was a very exciting day for John Green fans.  Not only was it the much anticipated release of his new book The Fault in Our Stars, but also the kick-off of his book tour.  This first stop was in Massachusetts, and was GOING to be held at my school, but very sadly for us, due to John Green's rock starness, we lost him because our auditorium wasn't big enough.  It was very sad.  However, because they were very sorry that they had to move it means that we got preferential parking, seating and were the first to get books personalized, which made us all feel very special indeed.

This was like no book signing or author talk I have ever experienced before.  It was crazy.  It was like going to a concert.  It was a show, really.  When I arrived with a van full of VERY excited teenager girls (SO excited.  Like, seeing a celebrity excited), we parked directly behind The Fault in Our Stars van and beheld a line of teenagers stretching out the doors down the sidewalk.  It really quite warmed my heart to see all the young people so incredibly excited to see John and Hank Green.

Now I'm going to fool myself that it's All For the Love of Books.  John and Hank Green are incredibly popular with their Vlogbrothers video blog and their Nerdfighters community is huge.  I'm sure plenty of people were Nerdfighters first and came to the books after.  But whatever.  They were there.  They were excited.  They were wearing Nerdfighter and other literary tee shirts.  They were sitting in a totally packed auditorium waving their books in the air and calling for John Green to come out.  It was...surreal.

When the show (really, I have to call it a show, there's no other way to describe it) began with Hank Sock welcoming us.  John Sock could not be there due to be eaten.  I'm not a regular watcher at Vlogbrothers, but I was able to ascertain that Hank and John Sock are regulars.

John Green himself appeared and damn, it was like the videos you see of the Beatles arriving in the U.S. for the first time.  The screaming!  The clapping!  The waving of books in the air!  There were probably people falling into a swoon right there and having to be revived.  John, looking very dapper in his suit, proceeded to read to us from The Fault in Our Stars, which was funny and touching and made us all want to read it even more than we did before if that's even possible.

Hank came out to sing for us.  This was my first introduction to Hank Green.  They look a lot alike, adorably awkward and nerdy.  Hank is a lot more over the top than John is though.  Hank's songs were very funny, and it was amazing to look around at the audience and see everyone singing along to every single word.  It reminded me a lot of being at a Wizard Wrock concert.  The Wizard Wrock crowd and the Nerdfighters have a lot of crossover (the founder of The Harry Potter Alliance was sitting right in front of us).  Hank actually had a couple songs about Harry Potter ("This Isn't Hogwarts" and "Accio Deathly Hallows"), which I very much enjoyed.  During one of his songs, "Shake-a-Booty" people became to spontaneously stand up in their seats and start dancing.  Pretty soon the entire audience was up and dancing.

After Hank played, John, now less formally dressed, came out to answer questions specifically about his new book.  People were asking very thoughtful questions, like what it was like for John to write from a female perspective for the first time, that he answered in an appropriate literary manner that the entire audience (teenagers, remember) were totally involved in his answers.

Then John made a very dramatic announcement.  John's wife is know among Nerdfighters as The Yeti, because she is often mentioned but never appears in any of the Vlogbrother's videos.  John said that she was actually here, tonight, and she wanted to meet everyone!  Oh how the people screamed with excitement!  And out came:
Hank.  Who proceeded to sing "Never Gonna Give Me Up" and we all got to experience a real-life Rickroll.  Oh sure, there was disappointment, but I think everyone was OK.  Now the mystery of John's wife can continue.

John and Hank answered questions together, and now people asked totally stupid ridiculous questions.  Things like "What's your favorite color?" and "Will you be my best friend?" which they both fielded pretty well.  They had a timer going and the person who was speaking when it went off was electric shocked.  I don't know.  Vlog thing I guess.  There was a lot of I didn't understand.

The show finished with Hank and John singing "500 Miles" by The Pretenders.  They'd mentioned at the beginning how they kind of looked like them.  It's true.
All the books and been signed (and some had been Hanklerfished) but you could stick around afterwards to get them personalized.  Of course, all the girls who I'd driven wanted their books personalized, but thank goodness we were in the first batch to go up.  I heard the next day that some people were there until one in the morning.  It ended about 8:30pm.  Damn.  The girls were bubbling over with excitement as I drove them back.  They were so excited to have gone, to have seen the Vlog boys, to talk to them, to read their books.  Everything.  It makes me all smiley.

So it was quite the experience.  I think my colleague Sam (who blogs at summed it all up nicely when she said, "I feel like I just got hit by a truck of awesome."  Yeah.  That's pretty spot on.

Don't forget to be awesome everyone.  The Fault in Our Stars review coming soon.


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