|Passed hors d'oeuvres:||free|
|Science Fiction Museum admission:||free|
|Amusement park rides:||free|
|Sheryl Crow plays to an audience of engineers:||priceless|
So I'm out here in Seattle this week for SC|05, the international supercomputing conference. Bill Gates wants to get Microsoft more involved with supercomputing, so he delivered the keynote address. Based on this admittedly small sample, I'd say Bill's parties are a lot more entertaining than his keynote speeches.
The Microsoft party was hosted at the Experience Music Project, which is right next to the Space Needle. Upon arrival, I quickly located the main stage, along with the most accessible bars and appetizer spawn points. While I was waiting for the main event I entertained myself at the Science Fiction Museum, which I enjoyed more than I care to admit.
At 10 pm sharp Sheryl Crow took the stage. They made an announcement that there would be no photography during the show. Of course we were all like, "yeah right," but then some big angry dude wearing an EVENT STAFF t-shirt started karate-chopping people with cameras. That and the lighting prevented me from getting a good picture but I did manage to take a short video.
Sheryl put on a good show, but I could tell she felt a little uncomfortable. Right away she asked, "Have you guys been locked up all day?" Well, actually, yes, Sheryl, it's called a job. We can't all be rock stars. Quickly sizing up her audience of mostly male engineers, she followed with, "After this, we bring out the strippers!" Where did that come from?!
I may have been reading too much into her demeanor, but I don't think so. These are more actual quotes from Sheryl in between songs:
"You're all nerds!"
"You're making me really nervous."
When she came to the end of her show, Sheryl's prejudices were sadly borne out. She gave it the old college try by trailing off on the last verse, hoping the audience would pick up the vocals. We didn't. After Sheryl and band made a quick exit, the big screens continued to show the darkened stage. As every concert-goer knows, this is when you cheer for an encore. Well, you could hear a pin drop in that arena. Actually, that's not quite true. I think I heard low murmurs of "Microsoft" and "cluster computing." Somewhere, I imagine Bill Gates was nodding in approval.