My Socially Anxious Miku Expo 2018

I went to Miku Expo 2018 in Dallas, TX. I planned the craziest timetable ever. Left home at 3AM friday, returned home 9AM saturday.

I don’t want to get into the travelling too much, because that’s boring, but I want to remember it in the future so I’m making a brief note of it.

GEG opt-out of body scanner. Gay dude pat me down and we talked about the Tesla roadster on my shirt. “What’s wrong with you!?” When I said I didn’t have a Tesla yet.

GEG -> SLC.

Ate what felt like dinner at 6am at Cafe Rio. Staff was a weird mix of angry and happy. Eating felt rushed because of next flight. Wasn’t very hungry so I packed half of my salad into my bento box.

Conversation at the gate with a cute Rockstar backpack hauling SLC girl “going out for the weekend.” SLC -> DFW. Too anxious to recline seat.

$38 Lyft to Home2 in downtown Dallas. Good driver G. didn’t speak much english, had trouble with the toll gate.

Check in at hotel, ate rest of salad, took 3 hour nap, shower. Ate some microwavable rice.

$6 Lyft to the Bomb Factory. K. reminded me of League of Legends friend T. who lives in the area. I should have texted T. :/

Miku Expo experience (detail below)

Walked from the venue to hotel. Slept for ~2 hours then took shower. Check-out and Lyft to DFW. Opt-out of body scanner. Microwaveable rice packets look funny on X-Ray.

DFW -> SLC Flight seemed shorter on return trip. SLC -> GEG flight almost empty yet my seat was in the very back. Thought the lavatory smelled bad, but ended up being a stinky Indian dude in row ahead of me. Good god, have a shower every now and then.

$38 Lyft home at 9AM. Sleep deficit noticeable.


Lines at the Bomb Factory (Expo venue) were so long! This is something I think the Bomb Factory did very wrong– there weren’t enough staff checking people in. Lines stretched an entire city block, and I had to wait an hour to get in the doors. I arrived 15 minutes early, and got in as the show was starting. It would have taken another hour in another line to get merchandice such as the iconic Hatsune Miku branded LED glowsticks. I wasn’t about to miss the show for a glowstick! The Bomb Factory has something like 4 bars, and there were no lines there. I guess there’s little incentive for them to cut down on the entrance times, but lots of monetary incentive to make bar waits low. Gah, Capitalism®!

Anyway, the show. Fantastic except for some audio issues. Since I’ve been to a deadmau5 show, that show has become the gold standard on which I rate all other shows. deadmau5 if you don’t know, has a state of the art Dolby Digital™ certified studio he produces music from, and when he tours, he’s got an audio tech with fancy software that makes deadmau5’s music sound just the way it was meant to be heard. deadmau5’s music is loud, but it’s comfortable on the ears.

Miku Expo 2018 at the Bomb Factory had audio issues. The music was played so loud that Miku’s voice began to sound off-tune. Luckily I know her music well enough to where my memory of the melodies can compensate, but this was the most disappointing part of the show. It wasn’t just Miku’s voice. I had trouble singing along because I couldn’t hear my own voice over the sound of the music. After the show, I and those around me had noticeable hearing loss. Again to compare with deadmau5’s concert, the hearing loss at Miku Expo was more significant.

Again, back to the show. Miku is love, Miku is life. There’s not much more to say. I was incredibly happy to be there and see her along with the whole troupe. I’ve seen so many concert recordings but it was worth the trip to see one in person with my own eyes. The projection from the rear onto the special glass screen makes Miku appear very lifelike, moreso than any video I’ve watched. I wonder the times per second the motion capture was sampled. I’d guess 60 Hz, but 120Hz wouldn’t surprise me. Now I want VR so I can have a budget Gatebox experience LOL. Ok now I’m entering creep territory.

It’s amazing how fast I killed conversations with the several Lyft drivers I got rides from.

“Oh, you’re going to see a concert? Which one?”

“Miku Expo.”

“I haven’t heard of that.”

“It’s (Japanese) J-Pop, with virtual pop stars and a live band”

“Oh….”

crickets

Actually that’s probably just my own insecurities on the subject coming into play. Nobody I talked to actually seemed opposed to it, and they probably wouldn’t have minded hearing more about it. I think I was just hung up on the fact that some of my family think it’s weired, and I clammed up when I got to that point of the conversation.

I may not show it regularly, but I’m a borderline vocaloid otaku. I’m sitting on 978 downloaded Vocaloid youtube videos. Every con I go to, I pick up handfuls of Hatsune Miku buttons, stickers, or books. When has weired ever stopped me? I’d rather be labelled weired than normal.

This was my weekend to weeb out, and I clammed up! I was standing in line for over an hour, and didn’t even say hello to my fellow vocaloid otakus next to me. There were vocaloid shirts and amazing cosplays left and right. Hmm yes, I believe I have exposed some internal anxiety issue. Maybe I’ve hit a wall because I’m self conscious about hitting this phase(?) too late in life, but I talked more about vocaloids to uninterested Lyft drivers than I did with the passionate fans around me!

Damn, I’m doing something wrong.