A San Diego Evening of Steampunk Delights: Voyages Extraordinaires

Last weekend in San Diego steampunk fans were certainly in for a treat, Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center hosted an amazing night of music and performances entitled ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’.  The venue for the night was designed and decorated by local artist Andrew Connolly with an array of bladed weaponry on the walls and even an airship zeppelin crashing into the building.  On the walls were also a collection of fine art pieces featuring denizens of an age that never was, such as the airship captain or goggled lady.

An array of artists and venders also filled one of the back rooms peddling their wares which featured items from top hats to bowlers, goggles to coats, and lace chokers to earrings.  If that wasn’t enough outside patrons could purchase French styled crêpes.

But the pièce de résistance of the evening and the reason why most of the people were there that evening was the lineup of performers gathered together.  Hosting the show that evening was the ‘Weird Val’ of cabaret Veronique Chevalier an award-winning mistress of ceremonies, parodist, and singer-songwriter popular in the steampunk community.  Shovelman, a musician wielding a giant rusted old shovel now transformed into a working guitar entertained the crowds with some Missisppi Delta styled blues.  Next up was the musical stylings of the robotic pantomimes the Steam Powered Giraffe whose act was reminiscent of a modern vaudeville act and barbershop quartet.  The Tragic Tantrum then took to the stage with a performance which was both energy packed and haunting; it was as if I opened a door into a dark room filled with eerie dolls with manic smiles.  And last but certainly not least the highlight of the evening was the iconic steampunk band Abney Park in their first San Diego appearance.  The night ended with their electric mandolins, sword balancing belly dancing, rhythmic hand drums, hard rocking accordions, and fierce violins.  And for those who still had the energy to burn was treated to a steampunk rendition of Repo! The Genetic Opera by the San Diego shadowcast Elective Surgery.

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