Vulcan’s Peak

Wizard Rock: The Rabid Harry Subculture

December 15, 2006 12:26 am

I think I qualify as a fairly hardcore fan of Harry Potter. I read the first of the books before they became a phenomenon. I dressed up as Professor McGonagall for Halloween before the first movie came out. I have copies of the first book from the U.K. and from Germany. I’ve been to buy a book when it came out at midnight. I know the ins and outs of the plot and I can tell you what’s non-canon about the movies. I skim the headlines at some of the biggest HP sites and I try to solve the puzzles on J.K. Rowling’s website.

So when I tell you that I felt like a newbie at this wizard rock concert last Sunday, I want you to understand my full meaning. It was a little like DragonCon in that one’s fandom is suddenly dwarfed by people you simultaneously want to hail as comrades and mock as fanatics.

I heard from another girl in my program that a group called “Harry and the Potters” was performing at a club in Cambridge and she was trying to get a group together to go. In the end, there were just the three of us, me, Raquel, and Joe. As it turned out, several bands were putting this gig on and calling it the Yule Ball.

We met there a little early, had a drink, and talked about school, watching the crowd gather. While there were a number of people in jeans (like us) and lots of people who had added an HP touch like a Gryffindor scarf or lightening bolt earrings, there were definately people who went all out. (Understand, when I say “people,” I’m tempted to say “kids,” as most of the crowd were sporting the black X’s that marked them as under-21.) Some were in full garb like this Draco and Lucius pair, and others had dressed for a Yule Ball.

The first two bands on stage were The Remus Lupins and Draco and the Malfoys. While they were not musical prodigies, they didn’t embarass themselves, and most of the lyrics were pretty funny. The Remus Lupins had a fun ditty about dancing like a hippogriff, but most of what I remember is from Draco and the Malfoys — for example, the song about “My dad is rich, your dad is dead,” which rhymes with “how’s your mother doing in the Mirror of Erised?” A song about hating Ron, a song about how Harry took away Draco’s favorite hobby (beating up on Dobby), a song about what he wants Voldemort to bring him for Christmas (make Harry Potter disappear). While I didn’t go right over and buy their CD, they were definately entertaining.

And yes, these bands all have their CDs. And everyone knew all the lyrics. Every word. Everyone. (Except us.)

After the Malfoys, we decided that we had heard enough — especially with end of term projects hanging over our heads.

But before I let that become a transition, check out this article that Melissa of The Leaky Cauldron wrote about the concert. (You do realize that this means that I was in a room with a girl who has interviewed JKR. Yeah, touch me.) And while you’re there, check out the proof we were there. Out of the 104 pictures up on Leaky Cauldron, Raquel seems to have successfully avoided the photographer, but Joe and I show up twice. Here we’re waiting for the doors to open. I was talking to the woman in front of me who was wearing a time turner with her spikey collar — she staked out a spot up near the stage and her enthusiastic arm-waving shows up in many of the 104 photos! And here we’re gawking at everybody else as the crowd trickles in — I’m the striped sweater at the right, you can only see the back of my head. I would also like to point out this photo — we were standing just to the right of where the picture ends, very confused about why everyone in the front was yelling. Then we saw the woman with the camera (“Ready? Show me how excited you are!”) Which is why everyone’s actually looking at the camera, not at the stage…because no one is on stage.

As for those projects that were hanging over us on Sunday, I’m happy to say that the business plan for my magazine overview class is safely turned in and I’ve taken the last (also, the second) test for my magazine design class, so now I just have to finish my portfolio for next Tuesday and then I get to come home!

Two last notes. One: props to the Georgia Board of Education, though from what I’ve read, Laura Mallory’s case against HP seems so weak, there’s no way any one’s going to rule in her favor. I fail to understand why she’s wasting her time, energy, and everyone else’s patience. Two: Wisconsin Hunter Bags Deer with 7 Legs. I want better pictures!

Meta blog, 12/15, 3:45 p.m. Realized while washing dishes where exactly the opening of this post really comes from and revised the beginning of the second paragraph accordingly.

2 Responses to “Wizard Rock: The Rabid Harry Subculture”

Carmen wrote a comment on December 17, 2006

The link about the mutant deer article just goes to a headline page that seems to be without headlines of deer. 🙁

Odette wrote a comment on December 17, 2006

Whoops! Here’s the same story on MSNBC:

Care to comment?