Happy Canada Day!

Hello internets!

It was Canada’s 149th birthday on July 1st! In world terms, it’s still pretty much a baby, but I’m proud and grateful that I get to identify as a Canadian and help to shape the future of this magnificent nation.

I headed down to the Redpath Waterfront Festival in down town Toronto near Lake Ontario on our national holiday, where some tall ships were docked. For $15 (+our 15% Canadian patriot tax) you can explore a Viking longhips, a Spanish Galleon, and an American Schooner. My interest in ships is pretty casual, generally most of my knowledge comes from playing Assassin’s Creed 4, and even then most of the time I was destroying and sinking these marvellous creations, heh.

The Viking Ship Draken Harald Hårfagre had the longest line-up, and sailed to be here all the way from Norway! It is currently the tallest Viking ship in the world, and was recreated by Norwegian experts and craftsmen, based on historical documents with some modern additions to aid in navigation and sailing.

It was difficult to get a nice clear shot of the Draken Harald Hårfagre due to the crowd so here’s a photo with my head completely in the way. Helpful, I know!

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The ship featured some nice upgrades like this pair of Odin’s Ravens, which aid the crew by flying ahead to spot dangers and swinging back to warn the captain, or so the crew tells the visiting crowds. I’d believe it, they made it this far didn’t they?

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The ornamental dragon (or draken) at the helm of the ship serves to mark the ship as a King’s ship. The crew says the ornaments are usually changed depending on the type of expedition the ship is destined for. The carvings along the ship’s railings leading away from the helm are based on real Viking ornamentation, and was hand crafted by an expert craftsman. The interns were probably not allowed near it at all.

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Next was the ship I was most excited for, El Galeon, the Spanish Galleon! How many of these guys have I boarded and pillaged in Assassin’s Creed with my pirate fam, I’ll never know. It would be an absolute dream to climb the ropes and sing dirty sea shanties with a pint of Kraken spiced rum in one hand and a captain’s coat-tails billowing behind me. Ah, maybe one day…

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El Galeon is also a recreation built in Spain, and now serves as a floating museum that travels around the world to spread knowledge about 16th century Spanish sailing technology and history.

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Here is the relatively cosy interior. I wonder if those decor items need to be bolted down during more turbulent weather?

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My final shot of the night, Canada Day fireworks on the waterfront behind the elegant ship. Blowing up taxpayer money has never been more beautiful or entertaining!

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In case you’ve already forgotten what I look like, one more selfie. Happy Canada Day! Here’s to another wonderful year of progress and change, see you next year for your 150th!

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Hatsune Miku visits Toronto!

Virtual idol Hatsune Miku visited Toronto as part of her Miku Expo North American tour and I went to see her concert!

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TL;DR: It. Was. AMAZEBAWLSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

United by our love for vocaloid music, fans from all over gathered at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in beautiful down town Toronto to celebrate and bathe in the glory of Miku’s great voice.

Of course there were cosplayers!

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There were so many people! The show was sold out!

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Having never attended one of these, I didn’t know what to expect. At first glance, the projection screen looked really small, especially at the distance I was seated at, so I was worried it would be super tiny and lame and I would have to pretend I had a good time squinting at a tiny little prancing avatar blob from afar.

Then the lights dimmed.

Anamanaguchi started playing.

And I stopped worrying.

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From the first emphatic chord, the energy started to rise and my anticipation rose with it. It was hard not to feel the elation and happiness of everyone around me. Anamanaguchi played an amazing set, full of electricity and got the audience properly hyped for the oncoming superstar.

Finally Anamanaguchi wrapped up their set, thanked everyone, and the crowd got even antsier.

The opening credits started playing. Pixels appeared and swirled around on screen. Then she appeared. At this point, everyone got on their feet and didn’t sit down again for the rest of the show. I decided the cheap and shitty Ardene’s 6″ high heeled booties was a poor choice of footwear for this event.

I got some blurry and not very flattering photos, not that it would help convey the awesome feeling or do the concert any sort of justice, but since I have them I might as well post them.

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Miku and Megurine Luka perform World’s End Dance Hall.

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The concert’s set list (courtesy of /u/OctoberFlash from /r/vocaloid on reddit). These are all songs by independent producers and song writers using Crypton’s Vocaloid software to make their music. The best thing about Vocaloid concerts is the way we celebrate the works of all these independent artists from around the world, giving bedroom music producers the recognition for their hard work and talents.

  1. World Is Mine (ryo/supercell)
  2. The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku (cosMoP)
  3. Two-Faced Lovers (wowaka)
  4. Unhappy Refrain (wowaka)
  5. World’s End Dancehall (wowaka)
  6. Magnet (Minato)
  7. Weekender Girl (Hachiouji-P, kz/livetune)
  8. Deep Sea Girl (Yuuyu)
  9. Glass Wall (GHPZ)
  10. Snowman (halyosy)
  11. Change Me (shu-t)
  12. Tokyo Teddy Bear (Neru)
  13. Butterfly On Your Right Shoulder (noripy)
  14. Remote Control (JesusP)
  15. Love Is War (ryo/supercell)
  16. Last Night, Good Night (kz/livetune)
  17. Ten Thousand Stars (CircusP)
  18. Just Be Friends (Dixie Flatline)
  19. Secret Police (BuriruP)
  20. The Intense Singing of Hatsune Miku (cosMoP)
  21. Sekiranun Graffiti (ryo, Dixie Flatline)
  22. Tell Your World (kz/livetune)
  23. Blue Star (HachioujiP)

Encore
1. Sharing the World (BIGHEAD)
2. Miku (Anamanaguchi)
3. 39 (Thank You) (DECO*27)
4. Star Fragment (Eiji Hirasawa)

My arm got quite the workout that night, pumping my official Miku Expo light-stick along to the beat. These were sold online as part of the North American tour fundraising efforts. There were also free glo-sticks given out to every attendee at the concert, but those didn’t change colours like this one! Pew pew colours!

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I lost it when Miku performed “The Intense Singing of Hatsune Miku”, the speed and energy of that song really got to me. I still can’t beat that song on the hardest setting in Project Diva F. When the wings blossomed behind her and she started to rise, I began to cry. Yes I’m an emotional wreck, I’m cool with it.

I’m proud of how hard our crowd cheered for an encore, we did not embarrass ourselves with our lack of enthusiasm. Way to go Canadian fans!

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Thank you for visiting Canada Miku Expo! We hope to see you again! I’ll definitely be there when you come back!