Hey All! So I'm actually pretty behind writing this post. I saw the Unchained Tour last month and I'm only now getting a chance to properly assess just how awesome it was.
I will admit- I had never heard of the Unchained Tour before last month. One evening I was getting ready for bed and my friend texted me something along the lines of "OH MY GOD NEIL GAIMAN IS GOING TO BE IN _(city close to me)_ NEXT WEEK!" and I replied with something along the lines of "ARE YOU #)49#*0293 KIDDING ME" So I quickly researched what it was all about and discovered something awesome. The Unchained Tour is promoting getting back to story telling roots, keeping close to small communities, and remembering to enjoy the moment you are in.
It went a little something like this. There were 5 or 6 "raconteurs" during the evening who got up on stage and shared a story about themselves. Some were heartbreaking, some were funny, most were both. The tickets were sold by local bookstores, the posters were made by local printshops, and it was held in a small theater (there was seriously no such thing as a bad seat there). They also kindly asked that no pictures or recordings were taken. Not for any official reasons like "no recording can be sold!" but more the idea being that we all need take a moment to put away our phones. We need to stop "being connected" and start actually connecting with those right next to us.
Anywayyyy- The show was amazing all throughout. It reminded me a lot of going to see a live performance of This American Life. The first half was filled with multiple stories and music and audience participation. Then after an intermission, the lead raconteur introduced Neil Gaiman. I rather enjoyed his introduction too... it went a little something like "So you all know who is up next, and I just need you all to calm down for a second. He is no cooler than you guys. Yes he's done some stuff. BUT GUESS WHAT SO HAVE YOU." Which I really enjoyed both for the understatement of it all, and that it reminded the whole audience that everyone there was pretty awesome. And honestly, I wasn't really able to calm down - there were definitely tears of joy on my face when he walked out on stage.... Ooops.
Neil told the story of how he knew he wanted to be a writer. It was a long story that involved him telling a dirty joke when he was in elementary school when he didn't understand the full meaning behind it. It lead to him almost getting expelled and his mother crying. And the story ended in him shouting the effbomb in the auditorium repeatedly. The moral of the story being he knew he wanted to be a writer once he had discovered the power that words had over others. It was wonderful (which is an understatement).
Because it wasn't a reading in the traditional sense he didn't come out and sign books, because it wasn't all about him that evening. But honestly, it didn't matter to me- I think a book signing would have defeated the purpose of The Unchained Tour because it really was all about connecting as individuals rather than fangirling over a famous writer. All in all it was a perfect evening. If you all ever have a chance to see it (or anything similar to it) I highly recommend going.
Hope all is well!