A few months ago, one of my childhood heroes and one of the most brilliant people ever, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) made an announcement that he would be coming to NYC to do a show at Irving Plaza. I had no idea what he was going to do or say, but I didn’t hesitate to buy tickets (only about $45 a piece, which isn’t at all a bad price)! To me, Bill Nye was the exciting part of science classes at a young age (well, along with the experiments). Whenever a teacher would put on Bill Nye, it wasn’t just watching a boring documentary or educational video that would put us to sleep. The theme song would play, and myself, along with my other classmates would immediately perk up and genuinely be excited to learn. Although I’m no where near a scientist, I still love learning about science, and still get genuinely excited seeing a new experiment, or hearing about a new discovery. In a way, Bill Nye was that fun, quirky teacher that everyone loved attending his class. I’m not alone when I say he’s a major part of my childhood.
Last night was the highly anticipated show! Fellow Nerd-Base member Chris and I showed up closer to 7pm (doors opened at 6:30) and the line literally wrapped around the block. Chris had even made a comment that as many times as he’s been to Irving plaza for concerts and other events, he’s never seen a line that long to get in. It was no surprise all 3 of Bill Nye’s shows this weekend were sold out. I also have to add in here that the staff at Irving Plaza were very friendly and welcoming! Not that I expected jerks to work there, but the staff made jokes while we were waiting in line and were always smiling. It was really nice to have that kind of experience before we even walked in the doors.
When we finally made our way in the building, the staff inside (which I’m not sure if they worked for Bill Nye, Live Nation, or Irving Plaza) were all wearing lab coats! They were very friendly as well, and handed out yellow cards to anyone interested in asking Mr. Nye a question. The halls and stairs were appropriately decorated with bow ties (on the mirrors), and ‘You Are Now Entering NYE LABS’ signs. Already an exciting experience before the show even started!
Unfortunately, the tickets I bought were general admission (standing room), and I didn’t have a good camera with me, so, there won’t be any great pictures from last night, but I’ll try my best to describe what an amazing time I had last night! Thankfully, I was able to squeeze my way up to the railing on the balcony (I’m only about 5’4). The standing part wasn’t fun, but I would’ve stood for another 2 hours if the show had went on longer.
From the moment the theme song that everyone knows & loves [Bill Nye the Science Guy theme] and Bill stepped out onto the stage, the crowd went wild. I also loved the fact that there were a few kids in the audience as well (parents, you are doing it right!). Like myself, a majority of the audience grew up with Bill Nye. It was very nostalgic seeing him live, and the stage was even set up a lot like the old show (skeletons, lab coats, lava lamps,..etc.). It was surreal and fun. I even admitted to Chris that when he showed clips from his old show, and even the opening theme, I got a bit teary eyed. It was almost as if I had been transported back to my childhood.
The first part of the show Bill talked a lot about himself, his parents, and how he got into science. It was really neat seeing old pictures and videos of his journey leading him to the amazing man he is today! For those of you who don’t know this, Bill Nye is a very funny man. He actually wrote and appeared in some funny sketches, including his made up, hilarious ‘superhero’ Speed Walker.
Bill told us he was also in a Steve Martin look-a-like contest (which he won), and showed us adorable pictures of him as a young lad. His charm, wit, and humor was already exciting, but the fact that he was obviously excited and humbled that so many people came out to see him was even more fun! It’s easy to see this man’s love for science. Even if this wasn’t a paid gig, I would be willing to bet Bill’s enthusiasm would be the same talking about science to a group of people. I, like many others, were smiling ear to ear throughout the entire show.
After he took us through a trip to his past, he began the part everyone was looking forward to – SCIENCE! Even though it was very simple experiments, they were still so enthralling and got the audience cheering. There were some very lucky people last night who were called up on stage to take part in his experiments (and even got to wear some of his lab coats!).
I was debating whether or not to add this part in here, but I think it needs to be addressed. The first volunteer that Bill brought up on stage was a very attractive young woman. She was obviously thrilled to be there and was dressed cute (wearing a red dress with an adorable bow tie attached to it). Fans of course are going to be bummed out when they aren’t the ones to be called up, but they should still be happy for those who are lucky enough to get called on stage. I don’t know if it was jealousy, or the fact that she was a pretty girl, but a majority of the audience almost had a disgusted reaction when she was called on stage. It upset me because if it were an average looking girl, or a male, people would have had a different reaction…more than likely, a positive one. It was almost as if people were waiting for her to say or do something dumb because of her looks. Even later on in the night when Bill was reading off questions, one question seemed a bit ‘silly’ (I honestly don’t remember when it was), but I heard someone call out, “I bet it was the girl in the red dress!” I’m really glad she seemed to have a great time that night and got to do something all of us dreamed we could do – not to mention she had a pretty kick ass astronaut tattoo on her leg! If people want bullying and hate to stop, then stop stereotyping and putting down other people because of your envy.
On a more positive note, Bill did call up a few kids to help him out in some fun experiments which was adorable and I’m sure will be something these kids will remember for the rest of their lives. He (and his chosen assistants) froze (and ate) marshmallows, froze a flower (and smashed it), blew out a candle from across the stage, taught a young boy how to tie a bow tie (because bow ties are cool), and showed us that fog/smoke coming out of a round, hollow device does not make a solid circle, but in fact a donut shape!
About halfway through the show, there was an exciting surprise. Bill took his phone out of his pocket and excused himself because he had to take a call. Immediately, we all knew who was calling… Neil deGrasse Tyson! Neil, unfortunately, couldn’t make it in person to the show (although he was in NYC), but he did FaceTime with Bill! The phone call was short, but sweet. Neil was encouraging to fans in the audience, and Bill and Neil talked about the major anniversary that was yesterday – 45 years ago humankind landed on the moon! That was definitely an unexpected and amazing part of the show. Bill also mentioned that he and Neil managed to get a selfie with President Obama!
Fans were able to write down questions before the show even started by filling out a yellow card handed to them by the staff. At the end of the show, a big box was brought out for Bill to choose questions from at random. Although he didn’t get to read out all of the questions submitted by the audience (we would have been there all night), he did read out quite a few and answered in as much detail as possible. From where he saw mankind in the future, to his experience on The Big Bang Theory.
I really hope that Bill Nye decides to do these shows more often because I’ll never get sick of them, and I hope that everyone gets a chance to experience his shows! The only thing I regret about the show last night is not checking out the merch table. I don’t think any of these shirts are available online yet.
If you’d like to see mini clips from his show (not the best quality, but clips nonetheless), check out our Instagram page – @NerdBaseGo.