Derryberry: Check out Free State Comicon and Barrel House karaoke

I’m what some may consider a fanboy. Although I don’t have much of a comic collection, I’m pretty proud of my comic culture knowledge, I’ve had realistic crushes on fictional women, and I’m the guy that intricately makes all of his costumes (yes, plural) for Halloween. I love the stories, the outfits and the following. So this weekend, I will be paying a visit to the Free State Comicon at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 111 E. 11th St.

Although the event may seem small in comparison to the world-renowned San Diego Comic Con or Planet Comiccon in Kansas City, I always like to take a peek at local conventions just to see what’s happening. If nothing else, there will be costumed crusaders, free swag and dirt-cheap DVDs that no one but me really wants to see. What’s not to love? The event is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and only costs $5 to get in. So if you’re looking for an interesting way to spend the day, check out an upbeat lifestyle full of friendly, albeit a bit eccentric, people. I’ll be there in my Wolverine Jacket (Halloween 2010) stocking up on crappy horror movies.

I understand a comic convention isn’t for everyone, and most people’s weekend activities don’t start until the sun starts to go down, but this weekend has plenty else to offer.

The Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, is holding a free outdoor concert featuring Buckwheat Zydeco, whose 30-year career has earned him five Grammy nominations. I attempt to describe his music as “creole folk music,” but really it’s a goofy-looking dude with an accordion who has some really interesting reinventions of classic songs. I was particularly attracted to his version of “When the Levee Breaks” for its total departure from Zeppelin’s version. This is definitely a concert where you’ll want to wear your dancing shoes, and it’s free, so why not give it a shot? Events begin at 6 p.m., and there will be numerous other activities before the show starts, including a Zydeco instrument exploration with the Americana Music Academy.

Unfortunately, the concert ends at 10 p.m., which is much earlier than my usual hours of adventuring, so for the late night music lovers looking to continue treating their ears, drop by the Barrel House at 729 New Hampshire St. The bar is known for its live dueling pianos and pretty-much-professional karaoke. I’ve sang my share of cover songs in the past, but these guys are actually good and play super catchy piano versions of popular artists like Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green. The Barrel House was a pretty big deal a few years ago, but management changes and the dismissal of the pianos really halted the bar’s popularity. Not to worry, though — the pianists are back and rocking and rolling every Friday and Saturday night.

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll definitely say it again, but from costumes to crescendos, Lawrence has an extremely wide variety of things to do at any time of the day. I may partake in a fair share of the Lawrence night life, but there are still tons of things I don’t hear about, so just get out there and adventure. Like a weekend warrior, we have to be merciless, on the prowl and look cool doing it.

—Edited by Megan Hinman

  • Updated Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm