My Daemon story is pretty recent history. I has already been interacting with a few of you via Facebook (Ian, Erik) so when the first MagWest rolled around, I said fuck it, I need to go meet these people in person and this is the perfect opportunity. I was the ambassador to hopefully get Runaway Four on the radar for a future invitation. I spent that weekend in awe of this crowd, and got introduced to a lot of amazing people. At one point someone asked if I was from theshizz because of the circle of people I was standing in which I think included mig and stemage. That was the first I heard of this place.
I’m not a super social person, I tend to be a wallflower and get overwhelmed by big events and parties. Even in conversation I can nerd out a bit too hard and push people away. But at MagWest, I cornered Warrior Bob and we nerded out over MIDI and keytars for what felt like hours. This felt like home, fast friendships were made, everyone really made me feel welcome and included and hyped.
By that point I was aware of Sean because, how could you not. I saw this guy rocking out harder than anyone and I thought a) how can I be friends with these people and this guy in particular, and (a little selfishly),
how can I manage to get my band in front of this crowd and this guy in particular, because I knew how awesome that would feel.
It took a little while to come down off that high because it was such an amazing weekend, and it was followed by a flurry of conversations and Facebook friending: I probably bugged ErichWK a little too much about getting R4 to MagWest. Meanwhile Facebook was doing a funny thing with the “people you may know” list. I used to laugh at it because whereas previously it was a pretty reliable gaydar based on being part of a different community (you may know this person... 54 mutual friends... oh, hmmmm), it turned into a guessing game where high numbers of mutual friends started to mean a VGM person instead. I think Sean was top of that list for months, with the picture of him rocking the fuck out on stage during KDB Deluxe. I hesitated to add him because we hadn’t directly interacted at West, and because frankly I was in awe of this person, clearly he was a legend and I was a newbie awkwardly trying to make friends over the internet. Really wish I had gotten over that sooner.
In the meantime I had actually found this place, and waited a few months to get approved. Robby was the first to welcome me, Daemon immediately complimented me. It took me a little while to make the connection to the IRL avatar of enthusiasm from MagWest yet.
With a little persuasion (it didn’t take much) from Erik and Warrior Bob, I made plans to go to the big Mag in Jan 2018. It was overwhelming and amazing, and I was on a mission to meet people and hang out with people. Annoyingly, my phone couldn’t keep a good connection in the Gaylord so I spent half the weekend wandering around trying to find people the old fashioned way, with the most success being had in the concert hall and the DoD panel. I finally ran into Sean after one of the shows and awkwardly said hi. He turned and looked a little confused when I introduced myself as Chris, until I said “angry polar bear” and then his face went from 0 to 11, he yelled “oh hey man!” and gave me a big hug. It was a proper “meeting someone from the internet in real life” moment, and for people who don’t socialize in this way I think it’s hard to explain that rush that you get when you can finally hang out with someone who you’re already building a friendship with remotely. I feel the same about all of you who I’ve gotten to spend time with over the last couple of years. Being a newcomer in an established group of friends can be challenging especially when you have isolating tendencies to begin with. But when someone like Sean is standing at the door of the party, holding it wide open and saying “what are you doing out there? get the fuck in here man”, you know that you’re dealing with some pretty exceptional people, and in particular someone whose mission in life is to lift the spirits of new friends and old friends alike. And he did eventually get to see us perform, he was of course in the front row, rocking the whole world around him.