Just An Online Minute... Pedophiles Beware! Chris Hansen At Diggnation Live!
Diggnation Live, Webster Hall, New York
June 4, 2009
Call the wahhmbulance. It's dank , murky, and cruddy today. The rims of my jeans are delicately wet and they keep tickling my ankle sides , which is as pleasant as gargling with mouse bones. I'm digging deep for you guys today to give you a peek into Diggnation Live last night if you weren't able to make it. Mind you, though, I left earlier than the hardcore crew in order to make my bedtime, which strictly follows my warm milk and Metamucil cocktail after I snort some Geritol. Not really, but you'd think so. Put your rebel Reddit T-shirt on, grab your nerd herd, and skip, don't lope to Webster Hall for $9 beers, lots of beards, black T-shirts, and a flagrant plea for public recognition.
When I walked by Webster at 6 p.m., there was a line wrapped all the way down 11th, across 3rd, and crouching up 12th. Later, around 8, after I'd had the worst dining experience ever at Candela Candela (don't ask), there was no line to be seen. I hope no one went all Cobra Commando and started the line at 2 p.m. Anyway, my dude and I entered and ran right into Jerry Lore of Redstage networks , who likened the crowd to a "sober rave" and a bit of a claustrophobic nightmare.
This did nothing to pump me up, because as you already know I'm too short to function; when I'm in packed crowds, it's nothing but butts and bellybuttons and that's just not fun. I went downstairs to check it out and found myself in the Webster Hall studio hanging out with a bunch of scary dudes watching Threat Signal. I thought it was really cool of Diggnation to have a multi-tiered multi-interest sort of party... but these guys weren't part of it. They were really good, though, so if you like metal and hairy dudes, you should check them out.
Anyway -- the REAL location of Diggnation was FULL of purple-hued and hugeongus, blue-reflecting-disco-ball-sparkled nerdlings. Le sigh, I love a crowd like this. I try to give an analogy of Diggnation fans to people who don't live so hardcore online because when this isn't your life it's really hard to grasp. I mean, these people don't think that in order to really be famous, you have to hop from online to the tube. I've never seen an angry Diggnation fan -- even last year when the venue was in Brooklyn and they had to turn away something like 1,000 sweaty fans. I actually left last year's event early out of real fan guilt and gave my drink tickets to some of-age kids in line on my way out. But I digress. No I don't - I did hear a few grumbles from the audience when no one was really that into the beat boxing dudes. By 9, people were more than ready to get the show on the road. "It's not like they're Madonna," I heard one guest huff.
I turned around and saw that it wasn't Chris Hansen who said it, but that it WAS Chris Hansen standing right behind me with his shiny silver tie. I looked around to confirm I wasn't accidentally ogling an underage boy and approached the "To Catch A Predator" host and vigilante who revealed to me that they've been undercover in Vegas, with new eps airing next Monday -- or the Monday after. Either way, pedo-predator busing in Vegas has to be some of the scariest stuff yet. I'll be watching.
While waiting for Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht to get the show started already, I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Byrd (not be confused with Robin Byrd) of Weber Shandwick and her pal Holly hanging out by the downstairs bar. Right around the bend from them was the currently unemployed and "I think I'm just going to chill for now" Sam Something (oh that's right, his last name escapes me) and his wobbly cohorts. I ran into a DigitalDUMBO twosome that probably now think I'm stalking them.
As I weaved around the upstairs VIP area (where VIP simply means more obstructed views and the same expensive beers only slower due to one bartender and people ordering five drinks at a time) overhearing someone snark "It's A LOT of PR people here... A LOT of PR people"-- as if the phrase itself made the owner's mouth wrinkle as if drowned in lemons, I saw Wilson Cleveland, head of digital media & entertainment at CJP. I dragged Wilson over to meet my dude and was snarled in the glob of people by the"VIP" bar where I was grabbed and asked "did you take a picture of the guy from Foursquare?" No, I didn't, because I'm walking somewhere with someone. Reminding myself that this is my job, I turned around and grabbed a picture. Look in the set and see if you know which one he is, I don't.
Standing by my dude was real friend Leo Ferrante, Director of licensing & royalties, East Coast, for Warner Music Group - I had no idea he was going to be there. He was there because he used to know Kevin Rose in Vegas when they were 17-19. They did the usual stuff, snowboarding, going to punk shows, hanging out. Leo was all "Yeah, I heard it was Internet Week so I sent Kevin a note seeing if he wanted o meet up. Kevin said I should come to his party." Leo smiled and waved his arms around. "Yeah, some 'party,' there's like 1,000 people here."
The show finally started and after Alex and Kevin throw Klondike Bars to the audience, the audience started throwing all kinds of crap back at them -- decks of cards, a homemade reddit T-shirt, which Rose faux blew his nose into and chucked it, a bel, and a wallet -- with money in it. Wouldn't you know it, the wallet belonged to Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee, which a clump of the audience kept chanting). Good "call my name out" strategy -- I'm going to start throwing my wallet on stage at shows so people give me attention, too! Rose threw Gary Vee his wallet, which he caught deftly from the balcony and then waved his arms like Eva Peron.
So yeah, how was the rest of the show?