Hallo Spaceboy: GeekGirlCon’s Super Secret Event Revealed–and Livetweeted!

This year for GeekGirlCon, we had a secret evening event! Although it took place in the open Garnet space, it was shrouded in mystery, except for a few hints dropped by host and emcee extraordinaire Rebecca M. Davis.

I had the opportunity to livetweet the event, so here’s my take on what happens when you get a room of strangers to sing together in honor of everyone’s favorite man who fell to Earth.

It started with just a couple of people trickling in, an empty couch at the front of the room, and Davis dropping increasingly evident hints and David Bowie trivia. And then, unexpectedly:

And then the music started.

I’m a bit of a Bowie fan, so hearing the guitar riffs at the beginning of the song was a moment of “What?”, followed by “Wait, really?” and then “YAASSSSS”.

But Davis wasn’t just playing songs for us–she also dropped in facts in discussing and introducing Bowie’s music that gave it context and meaning. For example, did you know that when Rebel Rebel was first played, TV shows and radio stations beeped out parts of the verse?

You’ve got your mother in a whirl ’cause she’s
Not sure if you’re a boy or a girl

Davis told us that, at the time, gender was so binary that the very thought of someone singing about queerness was mind-boggling and foreign. Bowie helped break that down–it was a theme we returned to several times in the evening. But, before we could dwell too much on this fact, it was on to the next song!

People swayed, waved their hands and rocked along. I think the audience was still warming up a bit at this point, but after the introduction to Dancing in the Street started playing, it was hard to not, well, dance.

Davis encouraged everyone to get up and dance, saying “this is your aerobics!” And people got up and danced. Of course, with lyrics like these:

It doesn’t matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

…it was important to view this through the lens of consent:

After the song finished and the audience took their seats again, we had a very robust discussion about the merits of the music video.

However, by this point, the audience had already had a taste of standing up and rocking out to David Bowie songs, so it’s no surprise that with the next songs the stage became an impromptu catwalk…

…and a dance floor:

There was a little bit of a break for Let’s Dance so everyone could sit and regain their breath. Davis also dropped a bit more Bowie trivia on us:

Let’s Dance has a pretty odd music video. It was shot in Australia and features an aboriginal woman who finds a pair of red plastic shoes, and then magical things happen in the city.

Of course, no good David Bowie singalong would be complete without something from Labyrinth, and Davis dropped the next song on us with no introduction. The audience reacted appropriately.

Officially, that was the end of the singalong. “Do we have time for an encore song?” Davis asked. Everyone was still on their feet, but nobody was leaving. So, it was on to another song. Again, this was one that didn’t need an introduction.

Space Oddity is one of my favorite Bowie songs, and it was also the one song that, when I heard that he had passed away earlier this year, opened the floodgates. I’d been sad, sure, but it was when I heard this song, I ugly-cried the entire way of a 40-minute car ride home.

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today”

That said, I looked around the room (to see if anyone else was tearing up, mostly), and then I was struck by the fact that I was in a space shared by people who essentially didn’t know each other, and came together for their love of GeekGirlCon and David Bowie.

After Space Oddity finished, there was a lull, as if the room was heavy with feels. But, we still weren’t done! Our very last song wasn’t an original music video though, for something slightly different:

Yep, twin Kermit the Frog puppets singing Under Pressure in a duet. I’m also going to include the full video here because it’s awesome:

Davis split the room so each half of the room could cover the David Bowie or the Freddie Mercury parts. It went pretty well! My favorite part of the song though was when the people sitting next to me asked to get past me so they could grab a nearby microphone and sing into it!

It was a wonderful note to end on. I loved the fact that people entered the room as strangers, and through the course of the hour, we sang, talked and danced together and people left in groups, chatting with their new friends.

And even though the super secret event was over, there was still a whole other day of GeekGirlCon to go!

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JC Lau
“Rock On!”

JC Lau

Previously disguised as a college professor and family lawyer, JC Lau is an Australian video game journalist and writer living in Seattle.

2 responses to “Hallo Spaceboy: GeekGirlCon’s Super Secret Event Revealed–and Livetweeted!”

  1. fluffy says:

    Wait, this was supposed to be a secret? It was publicized normally in the guidebook app 🙂

  2. Rebecca M says:

    But it wasn’t in the paper guidebook, or advertised as such! Thus SuRPRISE!

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