Cleveland Wizard World Comic Con ,Fun for the Whole Family!

 

 

28822152_10155900875517819_856410004_o I had the pleasure of attending Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland, Ohio this past weekend . It was a spectacular experience with live music, amazing guests, and even light saber combat. The pinnacle of my time there was hugging and getting to meet John Barrowman on stage!

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There were plenty of attractions for people all ages, and kids 10 and under are free! Wizard World Comic Con also features a “Kid Zone”, specifically set up so your kiddos can enjoy the con just as much as you do! I talked to Alexzandra, a twelve year old from Lyndhurst , Ohio . Alexzandra said she was most excited for the voice actors she could meet and all the vendors!

Billie Piper on stage
Billie Piper on stage

For all you Doctor Who fans: Ohio Who (a Doctor Who fan club) from Vermillion, Ohio managed to create some backdrops from our favorite Whovian episodes, perfect for a photo op! My friend and also fellow Whovian, Marissa Assumabarty of Mentor, Ohio, made sure she attended Wizard World especially to see John Barrowman, David Tennant, and all of their panels!

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Lots of gaming of all types went down. Smash bros, Tekken, and Dragon Ball Z were being played on the provided PCs. In the back room people were playing Magic the Gathering, among other card and board games. For those with tinier tots, puppet shows went on all weekend courtesy of Jester Puppets performing H.E.R.O.s Anti-bullying Puppet Show.

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Wizard World Comic Con is amazing because it brings so many people of all ages together, to cosplay and further discover and enjoy their fandom. Fandom has no age limit, and Wizard World is fun for everyone!

The Pixies Ecstasize Cleveland Agora

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Legendary grunge and alt rock band, The Pixies, performed at the Cleveland Agora October 3rd for their North American Tour to promote their new album “Head Carrier”. They played to a near capacity crowd, with hundreds of fans dancing and screaming every word to their favorite songs, maybe even reliving the more carefree days of the 90’s grunge culture. Fans of all ages were there, from surrounding states even, to see them play their strange rock and roll.

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The Pixies set list spanned over two decades of their discography. They opened with “Waves of Mutilation“, a track off their 1989 album Doolittle, for which they also played the songs “Hey” and “Debaser”. Their lighting crew was impeccable, green lights for “Gouge Away” just like a show they played in 1990. Flooding violet lights for “Velouria”, which totally matched the mood. The Pixies obviously love their fans as they also played one of their most popular songs, “Where is my Mind”, which was also featured in the cult classic, “Fight Club”. As soon as they played that song, the crowd instantly electrified.

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Opening for The Pixies was the American rock band Sunflower Bean from Brooklyn NYC. They had a pretty great, weird punk rock sound to them. Like an indie futuristic Blondie.

Being the Pixies fan that I am, I can probably say this is one of the best concerts of any band I’ve ever seen. What a great experience it is to see the great, creative, and soulful minds behind the music you listen to everyday.

Chelsea Lovegood
Staff Writer

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My First Cosplay Costume Contest

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Last weekend I participated in the famous costume contest at the Wizard World Comic Con in Cleveland Ohio. I’ve never entered any sort of costume contest before, so it was definitely a new experience for me. I’ve cosplayed before, but being in a contest was definitely new and exciting for me. Unlike the comic heroine Black Canary I dressed up as, I definitely had a bit of stage fright.

Cosplaying is what you call dressing up as your favorite character from something like a comic, video game, movie, or show. Talented cosplayers of all ages gathered in the large auditorium room, where photographers flocked to take photos of the elaborate costumes before the judging started. That’s when I got the time to check it all out and talk to the creative minds behind the amazing work. People from all backgrounds and interests took days assembling their intricate cosplay so they can look just like their favorite characters. From Disney princesses to Marvel superheroes, everyone did a wonderful job. My favorite costume, hands down, was Princess Amidala!

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Before we went on stage, they took a short video of all of us in line. That’s when things started to get real. The room started filling up with people, and suddenly there was at least a hundred or more attendees waiting to see us show off our costumes on stage. As I was waiting in line, I met a mother and daughter entering together. The daughter was dressed as a flower from a video game, something that looked vaguely 8-bit. Her mother had an original design, that is to say she created the character herself. Her costume was, “The Dragon Queen”. Of all the people I met, she had the only original costume. I thought that was awesome.

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Eventually we moved to the part of the line where they took our photos studio style. I struck a couple poses, and was then ushered towards the stage. At this point I was pretty nervous, but I knew there was no turning back now. They called, “The Black Canary!” and I climbed up the steps onto the stage, letting my inner punk rock heroine let loose, and then promptly made my exit. I did it. I competed in a world renowned costume contest!17495627_10154887794027819_307050681_n

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If you go to Wizard World next year, I highly recommend you attend their famous costume contest. You will not be disappointed.

-Chelsea Lovegood
Staff Writer

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Key to the Mint Revives Post Punk at Cleveland’s Grog Shop

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Wednesday evening Key to the Mint rocked The Grog Shop with their brooding surrealistic tunes. Hailing from Cleveland, they don’t have to travel far to get a nice audience. Frontman Joel Anger has vocals reminiscent of Morrissey, with a unique stage presence and nice hair. The band features what you would expect from an awesome, Joy Division inspired, post punk band. Especially with a splash of synth added (also reminding me of The Cure), Key to the Mint sure knows how to get people dancing.

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Watching them perform is like traveling back to the 80’s and not wanting to leave because the music is so damn good. My inner goth kid was definitely quite delighted. I couldn’t help but think, if they came 30 years earlier they’d be huge right now. Key to the Mint’s music is dark, grungy, and trance inducing. Experiencing it live is pretty exhilarating. Anybody who loves post punk, weird, new wave, goth type rock would surely enjoy them. I recommend checking Key to the Mint out on YouTUBE , and even better, enjoying them live at your local Cleveland venue!

 

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Following Spirit Animal at the Beachland Tavern

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Brooklyn native band, Spirit Animal, rocked out Cleveland’s Collinwood art district at the Beachland Tavern Tuesday night. Spirit Animal is a hybrid sound of funk and punk, with a splash of pop rock. The band stopped for their current tour, What a World with musician/band Nico Yaryen from Los Angeles.

Spirit Animal was able to grant me, Chelsea Lovegood, staff writer of the NEO Examiner an interview in between sets, and it was a great time getting to talk to them. With Steve on vocals, Paul on bass, Cal on guitar, and Rowan on drums it was an interesting conversation with a pretty cool band.

C: What would you describe the type of music that you guys play?
Paul: Out of control Rock n Roll.

Steve: Action Comedy!

C: What do you think about Cleveland so far?

Paul: So far so good, everyone has been super chill and super nice. Like accommodating. Paul likes the bartender, and Paul likes the beers the bartender has been giving Paul.

C: How many music videos do you have out?
Steve: Lent, Crocodile Skins, Big Bad Road Dog, Regular World, Come to Christmas, Best friends, Black Jack White. Seven official.

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C: What would you say your inspiration to make music is?
Steve: To show people something that they haven’t felt before. We all come from pretty different backgrounds. A lot of hardcore punk stuff.
Paul: Refuse is one of my favorite punk bands back in the day. I also like brit pop stuff and Travis (Barker). And of course, you know, everyone likes Radiohead.. Everything that was esoteric. Hatebreed, Candiria, and Botch.

C: Who writes the lyrics and music?
Spirit Animal: It’s all collaborative.

Well there you have it: An interview with a truly unique and funky band, Spirit Animal. Make sure to check them out the next time they stop in your town!Until then you can visit them on the web at http://www.spiritanimal.us

By Staff Writer: Chelsea Lovegood

 

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NOFX First Ditch Effort Tour: Cleveland Gets Hardcore

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It’s no surprise when I see Fat Mike, the lead singer of NOFX, open a show dancing and singing to Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp” song; donning a neon Mohawk and a knee length kilt.

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            NOFX is currently on tour across the US with Israeli punk band Useless ID and hardcore band Pears from New Orleans. Thankfully they were able to prove that punk is not dead with a live show at the Cleveland House of Blues. All three bands delivered a solid performance, and rocked harder than any punk band I’ve seen in a while.  a-dsc02071Useless ID instilled some very important messages, from being Anti War to getting drunk. Both of those we can all agree with. I really enjoyed their anti-war song, “How To Dismantle an Atom Bomb”, and if you have ears and like punk rock you should listen to it.
          Pears had a spectacular performance as well. In his opening song, lead singer Zach Quinn crowd surfed across the sea of fans cheering him on. Pears entire performance was very electrifying. Before I even attended the show, I was told by a local punk kid that this band was going to be very good. Pears did not disappoint. This band is the epitome of crazy hardcore punk rock. The mosh pit was pure insanity.a-dsc03009
         NOFX is the headliner of the First Ditch Effort Tour, named after their newest album. Their last album, “Self Entitled“, was released four years ago. I have been listening to NOFX since I was in high school, but I admit I was not prepared for how much of an awesome show they would put on. Fat Mike, the lead singer of NOFX, has a great stage presence and is definitely a dude I can get along with. a-dsc03575He even announced on stage he’s been sober from painkillers for 85 days. That’s a brave thing to tell your fans, and it’s obvious NOFX has a solid and long standing fanbase. I talked with  many punks in the Cleveland House of Blues that night; some from West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, and the far reaches of Ohio. Fans of NOFX drove hours or even took a plane ride just to see them, mosh hard, and sing every word of their lyrics. NOFX has been moshing and rocking against the establishment since 1988, and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.a-dsc03397

Written by Chelsea Lovegood -Staff Writer

Coheed and Cambria: Rock and Roll Epic

Editor note . I had the chance to see a recent Coheed and Cambria performance, not only was I amazed by the pure  talent ,I was dumbfounded by the die hard fans that came to the show, some  from Texas drove  to Ohio for this show . That has something to  about the bands drawing power and with that I wanted to give you one ultra fans perspective . Ladies and Gentleman I present Chelsea ,please enjoy .

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Coheed and Cambria; where do I even begin?

When I hear Coheed and Cambria, especially the tantalizing tenor vocals of Claudio Sanchez matched with the intense progressive rhythm of their harmonious rock and roll, it brings me back to the the nostalgic days of teenage skateboarding and other shenanigans. Coheed and Cambria has hands down been my favorite band easily since freshman year of high school.
Coheed and Cambria is deeper than music. It’s a story set in a comic and played through melody. A performance art form like no other, it’s a unique science fiction concept you have to experience in both mediums to fully grasp. Coheed and Cambria is a tale of the Amory Wars, Heaven’s Fence, man and machine, human nature, and definitely not for the “faint of heart”.

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Most fans I’ve met, including myself, are diehards. I’ve seen tattoos adorn peoples bodies, fans who travel miles and miles to see them play live, and epic record and memorabilia collections. Coheed and Cambria has such a loyal fan base because it’s more than just music. It’s a entire universe, an epic story of love and danger, and the best damn band I’ve ever had the privilege of hearing.

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