Love this article. I've had such a hard time articulating the vibe of PAX both to people who go to a lot of conventions and those who aren't familiar with the concept of a 'Swag Bag.' You're right that there's a tendency towards inclusiveness and an emphasis on creating a fun environment for all.
Also my 16-month-old laughed and clapped as an attendee dressed up as a bloody mutant swung a cleaver.
It was my first year at PAX, and I definitely have a sensitive nose. To my delight, there wasn't even a hint of nerdfunk at all! I had a lovely time, and it felt like everybody else did too.
Having only seen Coulton in combination with calling The Protomen a pseudo-80's group tells me that you don't pay attention to anything that isn't McSweeney's approved, and only spend a few seconds listening to any band you have to mention before making a sweeping generalization. Aside from the fact that The Protomen's "80's" material is FUCKING TOP NOTCH AND OFTEN BETTER THEN ANYTHING RELEASED IN THE 80'S, in their entire discography only some 4 songs account for that sound. They tend to roam arouns genre wise, playing whatever best suits the mood for the story elements that are occuring during the song (since everything they have released is part of a larger three act song cycle about a certain blue helmeted robot.. but seriously, don't just think of them like that. Aside from the fact that they take the bare bones of what story exists in those games and create something truely interesting, thought provoking, and moving both to tears and moving my ass to the floor that really only bares ANY resemblance to the video games because of the character names and likenesses.. the music is just.. better then we deserve to be getting)

There are a lot of bands out there who play video game music, just playing the old video game songs on guitars and calling it a band. Protomen actually make a whole damn rock opera out of it, never once using a single theme from any of the video games. And while yes, they do have a definite and undeniable influence of 80's rock music, it's not ironic, it's not precious, it's genuine. This is a band who releases music so rock and roll theatrical that would make Meat Loaf run off like a bat out of hell. When they do their 80's covers, it is out of respect and love.. not just some lark "lawl, lets sing Huey Lewis!1"
It was my first PAX and I had a blast. There was a little nerdfunk at times. I can't wait to go back

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