William Chow's Personal Web Page
The year is 2008.

Below I have some of the photos of great times that were had. Feel free to click on the thumbnail to enlarge it.

Anime Evolution 2008

This year my participation in AE this year has been limited to only doing a few panels and running the Karaoke Box for all three days. I normally would be doing a table in the dealers room but I haven't got anything sorted out or priced out or anything so that would be a waste.

Thursday, August 21
Today is not my usual going crazy day, as I am not setting up today. However, today is Sam and Nikki's Cosplay wedding at the con. They have opted to theme their cemonony around the convention. However, things ran a bit late and didn't integrate with the Masquerade Ball that happened this evening.
Friday, August 22
First day of the con. Line ups like crazy, and lots of cosplay. I also noticed that the age of the con-goer is getting younger too.
Today's big test was how to get all my karaoke equipment to UBC by bus. Well, it turns out that I was able to fit my laptop, a 17" flat LCD, a mixer, and a VCR all into a suitcase. Ah ha! A travelling road show! So I got my stuff to the university easy enough. I arrived at my room early, to find Hieu helping with the set up for the cosplay chess. I used my time to help them set up the board and sit and watch them play though it. Nice costumes, some interesting dying skits, but since they were not playing actual chess with strategy but reading from a script that whole thing seems contrived and rigged. They should have had it like Giant Shogi where they stilled played the board game with humans playing the battle. Maybe next year...
After Cosplay Chess, I was able to sit in on the 404's Improv show. That was enjoyable and very entertaining. It also gave me enough time to set up my equipment so that I didn't need that much lead time. However, I lost that lead time when I was fighting with the AV projector to get it to display my VGA signal. After wrestling with it, I got it on the screen. I don't know how, I don't care, it was working.
Friday was a packed house of people, and a good crowd who watched in awe as well as a couple of really good singers.
Tonight the program started with the most obvious choice, Rick Astley's "I'm Never Gonna Give You Up." So for all you 4-chan users, this show got Rick-rolled, not once, but 7 times over the weekend! A Team Fortress guy came up on stage with at first an odd selection, "Do You Believe In Love" by Cher. He had an incredible range with his voice he did a great job with it. Later in the evening he also did a good Barry Gibb with "Staying Alive".
Pictured here on the right, Ty does a great Elvis voice. He sang quite a few slow and really deep songs. Mr. Cheesehead started the show with a good version of Creed.
Other songs played included Queen's "Boheimen Rhapsody" twice, and Everescense's "My Immortal" twice, and Boa's "Every Heart" twice. A tense moment happened as a Sailor Moon Princess spilled her water bottle on my mixer board. No damage though.
Saturday, August 18
Our setup with a load of equipment, a spider web of wires and only 60 minutes to set it up. Oh fun! I also had a panel just before my karaoke as well which didn't help matters either. Today I got the equipment set up but today I was not as lucky in getting the screen to work. I don't know how I did it yesterday but today was hell. I had to run without the large screen which was ok, but it reduced the audience participation part.

Today's Karaoke was the challenge stage of the convention. I wanted to really test the singer's ability as opposed to just having a bunch of people up on stage playing their stuff. What I got was what I expected. The majority of these people would suck at karaoke. They can't sing anything to save their lives, their knowledge and focus of music is so limited. Not that many brave souls out there willing to play outside of their comfort zone. Saying as much, I did see some great performances.

Ty continues to do some great Elvis. A group of 5 guys came up on stage and did 2 Backstreet Boys songs. Some of the guys in their group can't sing but their performance and audience appeal made up for it.
The Karaoke this year was a little different in that there is a competition segment. Each task is to test the karaoke person's ability, so it is not just an idol like thing, but a true test of how well these people would do in a real karaoke box situation.
Test 1: Song Knowledge

Contestants will begin singing their song and somewhere in the middle of the song, they will lose their lyrics screen in front of them and they will have to remember it. The "Boheimen Rhapsody" and "Iris", where the only 2 songs that passed the test. The prize for this test goes to Katie for her version of "Iris".

Test 2: Improv

Contestants will begin their song and part way through the song, they will lose their audio track. Almost all 5 contestants passed this test but the prize would have gone to "Sounds Like A Teenaged Spirit" but the singer didn't stay to claim his prize.

Test 3: Vocal Range

This challenge, a person must sing a song in the key of the opposite sex, ie. a guy must sing a woman's song like a woman. Exceptions would be Michael Jackson, A-ha, or the Bee-Gees. Now, unfortunately, Mr. Team Fortress dude from yesterday didn't show up today or he probably would have won. Here, Tai (pictured on right) won with his version of Trisha Yearwood.

Test 4: Passing The Mic

This challenge, the multi-person performance will require them to pass the mic back and forth. Five guys (Chris, Andrew, Alvin, Norman, and Eric) got on stage to do a crowd cheering version of the Backstreet Boys.

Test 8: Impersonation

Most people can impersonate someone else's voice. BUT, can they sing in that voice? Well, the answer was no. However, the best performance out of the lot was girl named Roxy with her version of Cher's "Believe" sung in the key of a man.

Sunday, August 19
Today was a bad day, as it begins to rain. My karaoke room got moved to a panel room. In addition to that, I lost an hour to a poorly attended Q&A session with a band. I had the same problem setting up the projector as yesterday so I had to go projectorless.

However, once the people start picking songs, it flowed along very well. I handed out all my remaining bags of swag and prizes to the good singers.

The songs done today were not stellar by any means. There was a lot of people, who could not make up their mind on what to play which left a lot of dead air. Also there was one individual who knew how to sing Japanese Anime songs and knows how to read the Japanese, he did a 10 minute version of some Japanese anime song from the top of his head which was painful to watch and hear. The saddest part was that nobody could pick the next song after all that time.
Well, it is a con after all. I doubt I will have much time to work on this over the year, but I will try to get more "Rockin'" songs for next year. First up is to add all the songs from Rock Band into the mix.

See you all next year.