Welcome to Night Vale is "a podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers and cultural events".
Their live show is all of that and more, live and in person.
And yours truly had both front row seats and (without knowing it) a feature cameo.
The show started with The Rules, presented by the lovely Night Vale "Proverb Lady", Meg Bashwiner... to sum up, photos good, video/audio recording bad and Meg is the voice of your inner monologue which is why you're funnier in your head.
Next up was the musical guest/opener, Dessa. Now possibly due to our closeness to the stage some of the lyrics to her songs were hard to hear/understand, but I was generally impressed by her. If for no other reason than she had the whole crowd in the palm of her hand very quickly... and she was just the right amount of fun and quirky that Night Vale demands.
Then the Voice of Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin, took the stage and the show really kicked into gear.
Cecil really is the thing that makes the show... well the writing by show creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor is key, but I couldn't imagine Night Vale without Cecil's dulcet tones and perfect delivery. And to get to see him do it live, with all the facial expressions you don't even consider he's making when you're just listening, made it all the more fun.
He doesn't have to carry the whole show alone, he was joined by various other Night Vale residents, first Deb the sentient patch of haze (aka Meg), then the adorable Dylan Marron as Carlos, resident Night Vale scientist and Cecil's in-show boyfriend... and who got to do a much funnier piece that he's usually confined to on the show (being mostly concerned with science, the Desert Otherworld and Cecil). Next up was Fink as one of the long running series of ill-fated radio station interns, who met an untimely demise (with a very impressive scream), followed by Cranor as a Secret Police spokesperson.
Running through the show was the story of a murderer on the loose and a murder mystery dinner theatre that all the people of Night Vale were compelled to attend by the aforementioned Secret Police.
As soon as the weather report was over (also known as another musical number from Dessa... Night Vale weather always takes the form of a piece of music and has nothing to do with actual weather) and Cecil was back to unmask the gruesome murderer.
And, spoilers... turns out it was me. By which I mean, I'm guessing that Cecil generally picks somebody from the front row as the murderer, and that just happened to be me this time around. So I had to stand up, gave a bow, had Cecil talk directly to me, got applauded by the audience, got pointed at by the audience and told not to do it again, then bowed and applauded again. It was a hell of a feeling to be honest.
It was a great show overall, both just from the perspective of being able to see the faces behind the voices (for example I had no idea that Marron was so cute or that Disparition was just one dude), but just feeling the great energy they all brought to the stage was fantastic.
I just wish it could have gone on even longer than it did. And that they come back again.