We went to dinner at this Cajun place called Sweet Mother’s Kitchen and OH MY LORD you guys. Yum. I had southern fried chicken with gravy and jambalaya and we all had curly fries (my compatriots were shocked) and chips with amazing salsa and then I introduced them to key lime pie. It was so awesome we went back for breakfast the next day.
After that, we went to the concert, walking through the wind and rain to get there. We arrived a few minutes before 8 (Doors open time) but it was plenty of time! We got merch and then we got to go in and we managed to get the front row. I stood in the front row for a concert!! Seriously!!
Hera was up first and she is SOCUTE AND I LOVE HER! She sounded amazing and her songs were beautiful and entertaining. She’s a goddess. Leah was still squeeing because we had gotten a glimpse of Neil Gaiman slipping in the building behind Amanda with a ‘DON’T LET THEM SEE ME’ look on his face. It was awesome. And after Hera, Amanda was up to bat.
The audience was HORRIBLE. They wouldn’t shut up and let her play. No one came to hear you all scream; they came to hear Amanda in all her wonderfulness. She handed out carrots and apples (because she’s Amanda…) and someone yelled “Put your carrot in my mouth” to which she responded without hesitation, “Your momma’s carrot was in my mouth last night.” Not so original, but I love her pluck anyway :D She was amazing. Spellbinding and loud and funny and cynical…everything I love about my Amanda. She read from her book (Words supplied by Neil Gaiman) and despite interruptions from the audience, it was wonderful. She sang the Vegemite song and laughed when someone gave her a picture of Neil looking evil while holding a jar of Marmite. She used the ‘your momma’ joke quite a lot when the audience didn’t shut up. And to a particular girl who wouldn’t stop screaming ‘I LOVE YOU!' she said “Dude, you’re gonna get beat up! Have you been drinking? Or doing something else? Drugs maybe? I hope so because if not, there’s something wrong. I wish I could be like you though. So full of love.” Which was a pretty classy way to handle it really. Everyone in the audience was just screaming at her to shut the frak up. She did eventually get escorted out, however. And then there was the lime guy. During question and answer time he asked "DO YOU LIKE LIMES" to which I think she answered "they're...fine" or something to that extent. And then he yelled about limes again and when she was talking about her book she was saying you could use it for anything, including dirty material (Nekkid pitures!) and she said "How is lime guy!?" and someone yelled "SUBLIME" and she had to take a moment before she could breathe again.
She hadn't been having a great day and you can tell when she performs. She was still wonderful. Ever charming and witty, is our Amanda. And the entire thing was made awesomer by the presence of Mr Neil Gaiman not ten feet away, always watching her as if she was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. I love it. And he giggled when she played the Vegemite song. Their love is gorgeous. And after the concert they proved just how darn classy they are by doing something wonderful for someone I know. Gorgeous, gorgeous people. OH and Cath is my hero because she used her mad crowd control skills to keep the crowd from crushing me. THANK YOU, CATH! ♥
The next day was better, weather wise! We went to Sweet Mother's Kitchen again and then we went to Te Papa museum which had a Pompeii exhibit. That was fascinating! And my Volcanoes and Earthquakes class knowledge was working full time :D Then we went to Fidel's which fans of the Lord of the Rings movies will recognise from a documentary special feature with Billy and Dom. It was lovely! And then there was rest time before Neil Gaiman.
Oh. OH Neil Gaiman. There was SUCH A CROWD! There were probably 300ish people at Amanda, and Neil packed out the Wellington town hall. I estimate 1,000? Anyway, it was awesome. And he was so incredible. He read poems, two of which are new, and he read so well. Everything he said was amazing. Someone asked him what the secret to writing is and he said "Write. People act like I'm keeping some incredible secret from them. Like they want me to say okay first you kill the goat, then you wipe the blood over the door and then you wait. There will come three knocks but you do not answer. Then another five knocks and then you answer the door and when you do, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and I will be standing there in robes to welcome you in." He also said about Shakespeare: "A lot of people don't realise he was writing for actors. I love it when an English teacher or something will go on and on like 'this speech exists because' when no, that speech exists because the guy he was just speaking to has to get changed. He just left and he has to come in again from the other direction so he needs a four minute speech to give him time!" Brilliant. And in answer to what his favourite mythological creature is? "Basilisk. I love them. If a cockerel is ever unfortunate enough to lay an egg, what you need to do is smash it and kill the cockerel because if it hatches it becomes this lizard thing that can turn you to stone and only weasels can kill it! I love that! I've always wanted to write one but I never have. There must be somebody standing around with a bag of weasels somewhere!"
He was just SO LOVELY and for a shy person, he handled the crowd exceedingly well, though he does have a lot of practice under his belt. Then came the singing. I was behind Leah and she asked him if he would hold a sign for her fan group so she could post it to them. He said, in the most amazingly kind way, "Of course I will!" he took the sign and I took the picture which he POSED FOR and everything. LOOK! (That's FIERCE face :D but I missed when he grinned right after because someone else was taking my camera for MY picture, DOH) Then he signed my copy of Neverwhere which I hold dear to my heart because it takes place in London and I read it right after being there. He wrote "Dear Lara, MIND THE GAP!" and then signed his name. I said "I did when I was there!" and he said "Well that is the most important thing because if you don't, it's dangerous!" (if you've read the book, you totes know BB) and then I thanked him and he said, "You're so welcome, thank YOU for coming!" I love it when people are so amazing to their fans. He was absolutely kind and gracious and I appreciate it endlessly. And I could gush about it forever so MOVING ON! (HIS SIGNING TOOK THREE HOURS but he tweeted that he loved us! And we loved him :D)
We witnessed an amazing sunset, had silly boardwalk times, had a hostel picnic dinner, and then today we went to the art gallery and then a-wandering. And I bought far too many books. So worth it. And THEN I wrote my essay while waiting for the plane. Fantastic.