The Twilight Saga: New Moon Cast Event At Fox Valley Mall
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 12, 2009 5:00PM
Special to Chicagoist from Marah Eakin
Last night, on special assignment from Chicagoist, this grown-up with far too vast a knowledge of the Twilight universe ventured way, way out into the Suburbs - the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora - to take in the “The Twilight Saga: New Moon cast tour”. Tied in with Hot Topic, the event featured second-tier stars of the movie Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen) and Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), as well as a performance from New Moon soundtrack artist Anya Marina. Intense, intense screaming ensued.
There are a few things you should know about the type of people who would go to a Twilight event at a suburban mall.
- They’re mostly teenagers, with straightened hair and skinny jeans tucked into Ugg boots. They also wear a lot of eyeliner, and body glitter. They will come from all over, and 500 people will sleep in the mall to get the $30 t-shirts they need from Hot Topic to guarantee they will get a non-personalized signature from the stars. They will line up for a long time when that autograph time comes even though those John Hancocks are guaranteed.
- There will be screaming. A LOT of screaming. Most of it will happen for no discernible reason. Things are happening, so there is screaming, ad nauseum. Seriously - the emcee challenged the teens to top 110 dbs on the audio console (about as loud as a rock concert, chainsaw, or leaf blower - but much more shrill), and they did it.
- It doesn’t really matter what the stars have to say. From the media platform, you couldn’t hear a thing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, a mall’s not acoustically spectacular, and you’d catch the occasional “Taylor” (SCREAMS!!!!) here or “Rob” (SCREAMS!!!!) there, but it didn’t matter at all to the Q&A goers. They rode it out, and that’s ok, because the answers were probably super boring anyway.
- Despite what you’d think, there will be adults there, and men. Sure, the 1000-strong crowd will be over 90% women, but there are guys there. Most are dads and high school gays, but if you’re straight and single, or dating a Twi-hard, dudes - you can totally score here. Also, while adults might be squarely “Team Edward/Robert Pattinson,” the teen crowd skews heavily “Team Jacob/Taylor Lautner” - which is especially ironic when the Q&A is set up under a store called “Native’s Touch.”
- These screamers have an almost appalling lack of shame. Sure, Kellan is kind of foxy in a mass-produced way, but would you ever tell a stranger to take his shirt off - especially in text speak? Would you make a poster declaring he’s your “monkeyman”? The voices of pre-teens chanting “Take it off! Take it off!” has the ability to haunt any sensible person’s dreams.
- If possible, attendees must not actually watch any of the action through their actual eyes. They must, instead, take photos or a video of what is going on, to be hoarded, or possibly shared on youtube, along with the hundreds of other videos from the same night, all of which will be shaky and have questionable sound. Attendees should refrain from experiencing anything legitimately, but rather through the technology they have brought with them.
- The Twilight Saga is a promotions juggernaut, and these kids are lapping it all up like animal blood to a Cullen. Sure, fans had to buy the shirt to get the signature, but these kids have posters, perfume, soundtrack, the version of the dress Bella wears that Hot Topic actually sells, and will see the movie maybe dozens of times each. Cha-ching.
Don’t fret, though, if you missed Tuesday's blowout. Grown-up Twi-hards and pre-teen screamers alike, mark your calendars - Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz will be appearing at the Hollywood Blvd and Hollywood Palms cinemas in Woodridge and Naperville, respectively, for hours and hours over the course of next weekend around the movie’s release, signing autographs for anyone who buys an $8 ticket. The Twilight will drain every last dollar you’re your wallet - like any good marketing vampire would.