Grab your light-sabers and capes, step into your tights and booties, holy Hogwarts and hoverboards, Nerd Prom is back! Excluding Halloween, this was Denver’s one night a year throw on a costume, grab your squad of lovable dorks and hit LODO with the force.
Sadly I was late to the game and missed the opener. Sorry fam! Below are links to check out Rocket Surgeons.
I started off my Nerd Prom with some lively, party-startin’ hip hop brought to you by MC Lars and Mega Ran. Their upbeat chemistry and playful synths got the crowd loose as a goose. Damn it if they didn’t find the two dorkiest dudes in the game. Don’t feel me?
They began to wrap up their time with us in the most likable and nerdiest way possible. The crowd was instructed to raise their props and other costume accessories in the air for MC Lars and Mega Ran to produce freestyle. They used whatever they could see in the nearby vicinity. Mr. Potato Head, Daenerys Targaryen, Storm Trooper helmets were all thrown in the mix. They wrapped it up with an all-crowd dance to Sugarhill Gang’s classic, circular hip thrust, giddy-up, "Jump On It." We loved their crowd interaction and turned up spirit!
In between sets you could check out merch and stop to play a few rounds of OG Mario on the way. Maybe get another round specialty nerdy cocktails like a ‘Marty McFly’ at the bar (something resembling the taste of a Long Island Iced Tea with Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade). We hope you got a souvenir Nerd Prom photo at the photo booth. Guests chose from items such as Star Wars helmets, Thor's hammer, Hulk's hands, etc.
Before we knew it it was time for our headliner. Our fearless leader of Nerd Prom, Andy ‘Rok’ Guerrero and his band of predominantly CU Denver students and alumni, “Andy Rok and The Real Deal,” Brought. The. House. Down. Those in charming prom attire, cosplay nerds, and losers like my friends and I who showed up nix creative costumes, ripped up the dance floor like ya mommas old panty hose. Andy Rok and The Real Deal made their appearance in full Stranger Things garb. The fierce female vocalists Michelle Rocket as Joyce, decorated Christmas lights around her neck, Andrea Pares as Dustin dressed in his representative 'Castroville' artichokes shirt and trucker hat, Rachel Taulbee even gave Nancy a cameo in her 80’s preppy style. Andy rocked his ‘Barb’ costume for some time including a disheveled grandma wig along with freshly shaven baby face. The brass section of Kyle Etges, Armando Lopez, and Jordan Skomal, dressed as Eleven and two scientists at the evil laboratory in full protective suits. Drummer Benjamin Hatch resembled a young Jim Hopper, Hawkins Police Chief. Former member of Denver's own Psychedelic Zombiez, Mike Friesen was the other male vocalist dressed as the replacement cook at the diner Eleven originally crashed post laboratory break out. To top it off, the bongo performer Rob Brandon, was dressed as Demogorgon (or quite possibly a flower baby from one of Anne Geddes photographs, but who can really be sure).
They delighted our senses with our favorite dance covers from Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” to The Spice Girls’ “Wanna Be.” Name any retro classics and they played them. Vintage favorited 80’s and 90’s movies as well as retro video game graphics were featured on the big screen behind the band to set the mood, “yeah we might be nerdy, but we’re here to party.” At one point, unbenounced to her, a friend grabbed one of my previous professors to dance. Complete strangers. That’s the awesome thing about Nerd Prom. You can let your guard down, dance like there’s no one around and even meet some fellow nerds in the process.
While breaking in between the retro dance classics, they slowed it down and encouraged us to “find that nerdy someone you love and uh...make out” as Andy said. I ended up sashaying off for a bathroom break and couldn’t dismiss a stranger dressed as cat woman twirling me in line during the cover of All-4-One’s romantic, ballad “I Swear.” Also in the realm of sensual tunes, we couldn’t get through the night without hearing George Michael’s (RIP) "Careless Whisperer." They brought those sax men up to the front to serenade our deprived ears with some dreamy, smooth jazz as the disco ball glimmered and danced across our giddy, dorky smiles.
Even at my own high school proms I didn’t get down that hard. Andy and his team gave us a night to forget our doubt and weight of daily life, and become our favorite fictional heroes with our real life squads. Cheers to KTCL’s 93.3 and Andy Guerrero for throwing a basher of a prom.
Stay nerdy and dirty, class of 2017.