Harry and the Potters, live in San Francisco!

23Jul06

I don’t usually go to concerts. (Not counting my own performances with Cardinal Calypso or attending other Stanford student performances, the first and last concert I went to was an Assembly of Dust show that a fellow physicist offered to take me along to.) Today, however I made an exception to check out a band that I became a fan of last summer, Harry and the Potters.

The release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was a an excellent time to get into a Harry Potter-themed rock band that would go on tour and perform at libraries to promote reading. After downloading clips online, I purchased two of their CDs (bringing the net number of music CDs I’ve purchased since the demise of Napster to roughly 6)e and have become a fan.

I was very excited when I found out that the band was performing at the San Francisco Public Library (a landmark I’ve been meaning to visit anyway) as part of their Summer Reading and Rocking tour, and was very delighted when I was able to hear them in person in the plaza just outside City Hall.

(Click on the play button on the image below to stream the video.)

The opening band was Draco and the Malfoys, one of the duo also doubling as Bill Weasley of Harry and the Potters. Their rendition of “99 Death Eaters” (sung to “99 Red Balloons”) was priceless. When the Potters showed up, the rockin’ audience (a mix of children and high school students in various Harry Potter paraphenelia) went wild. I wish I had captured more of the band’s between-song comments on my camera, as they added a very nice touch to the show that I don’t get from listening to my CDs.

In one stretch, the main singer was talking about how the band got together. His story included time travel (a theme in the third Potter book) to explain why there were two Harry Potters in the band. He went on to explain that it is dangerous to mess with with the space time continuum, but rock was all about violating the laws of physics (and here my ears perked up) since it was about “sticking it to the man”. Along with “sticking it to the man,” they were going to violate conservation of mass, and conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy, since rock and roll was about people getting together and creating energy and music. (This was a very nice save just as I thought he was rambling while another band member changed a guitar string.)

A few more clips that I shot from the performance are available on YouTube:

Clip of Voldemort Can’t Stop The Rock.
Clip of Save Ginny Weasly.

As a side note, I was able to visit the San Francisco Public Library, and was amazed by the building. I don’t know any of the details about the architectural decision between each building, but SFPL seems to have been the mold for the Santa Monica Public Library which I mentioned in a previous post.

The SFPL is readily accessible by public transportation (Bart, Muni, various bus lines) and located in the SF civic center, just as the SMPL is in the middle of Downtown Santa Monica and its Big Blue Bus system (the cleanest buses in Los Angeles). The space inside is wonderfully arranged with a central skylight and several levels of books and study space. I got the feeling that the collection was slightly smaller than that of the Los Angeles Public Library, though it does feature several special collections of interest to San Franciscans. To my surprise, I was presented with several shelves of physics books, including a few advanced texts.



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