If there was any ever doubt that a web series—without any moonlighting Hollywood celebrities or TV network backing—could galvanize throngs of faithful fans into a live rock concert adoration, well, it ended last night at SXSW. Before a sold out crowd of over 2,200 at Stubbs BBQ one of Austin’s legendary outdoor concert stages, Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht took a page out of the rock star playbook at the live Diggnation taping Saturday night.
The spiked hair and fire breathing magic skills of Scam School’s Brian Brushwood primed the crowd, in an opening act that probably could have its own Vegas offshoot some day. Then there was the #OMGConan hoax, an organized prank led by Rev3 co-founder David Prager that generated 426 tweets from the audience blasting out that Conan O’Brien is joining Revision3. This was of course full-circle to the web network’s credulous offer back in January for Conan to have his own Rev3 show.
Oh, and the crowdsurfing. Alex and Kevin floated over the sea of outstretched arms. Even live streaming TWIT.tv’s Leo Laporte joined in on the fun to cheers of “Leo! Leo! Leo!” as he was whisked up while carrying his lighted unipod to stream his ride. Was this the first live streamed crowd surfing shot first person?
In the parlor game of us spectators, one of the questions batted around was just how much PC-maker Alienware paid for the ultimate product integration—swapping out Kevin and Alex’s usual laptops for two of theirs. Best bets from those in the know seemed to say it was at least $50k for the privilege of that placement. Some speculated it was a six figure deal. Either way, not cheap to free known Apple-lover Kevin Rose from his MacBook Pro.
Spotted up in the VIP section were a number of web series vets like Taryn Southern, Tim Street, Brett Register, iJustine, Phil DeFranco, Shira Lazar, Tony Valenzuela and others—all there to witness first-hand just how big this video space has actually become. It left us all thinking, who needs Conan when you have have these guys?
The episode was shot live, but to tape, meaning the edited version won’t be up until later this week.
Photos by George Ruiz.