Location: Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel
March 18 – 20, 2016
Jensen Ackles – Dean Winchester (Sunday)
Jared Padalecki – Sam Winchester (Sunday)
Misha Collins – Castiel (Saturday / Sunday)
Mark Sheppard – Crowley (Saturday / Sunday)
Richard Speight, Jr. – Trickster / Gabriel (All Weekend – Event MC)
Matt Cohen – Young John Winchester (Friday / Saturday)
Rob Benedict – Chuck Shurley / Carver Edlund (All Weekend – Louden Swain)
Travis Aaron Wade – Cole Trenton (Friday)
Ruth Connell – Rowena (Friday / Saturday)
Osric Chau – Kevin Tran (Friday / Saturday)
Briana Buckmaster – Sheriff Donna Hanscum (Friday / Saturday)
Kim Rhodes – Sheriff Jody Mills (Friday / Saturday)
Timothy Omundson – Cain (Saturday Night Concert / Sunday)
Seattle. The convention stop right after the big Vegas weekend. Also, the hometown of scheduled guest Timothy Omundson, Cain on the show. Whereas Richard Speight, Jr. had arranged some pretty amazing things for his hometown of Nashville two stops prior, Omundson arrived to simply give the attendees a good time.
As he stated in his hour-long panel, he skipped the drinking after the Saturday Night Special concert in order to give us the “Full Timmy” experience Sunday. For some of us, Omundson’s appearance in Seattle was the cherry on top of the sundae that is the weekend party at a Creation Entertainment convention. We were able to see/hear him perform David Bowie’s “Heroes” without a rehearsal at the Louden Swain Saturday Night Special concert. Without him telling us via Twitter after the event, no one would have suspected there was no rehearsal only a sound check; he was that amazing.
So, what can one expect from a Salute to Supernatural convention, if they’ve never been to one? Two words: energy and excitement. Speight and Rob Benedict have joked that all the supporting guests and the band are at the convention merely to warm up the attendees for what is supposed to be the main event of the weekend: the arrival of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. I, however, disagree.
A Salute to Supernatural weekend goes pretty much like this (with the exception of Vegas since it begins on a Thursday):
Friday- several fan favorite guests have their panels and do their photo ops and autographs. These guests are usually very energetic, fun and their lines are understandably more manageable and move quickly. These factors lead to some incredible interactions and stories to begin the weekend with a bang. The karaoke party should never be missed. Many, if not all, of the guests scheduled for Friday come dressed up and ready to sing and play. Guests that are brave enough to sign up to sing and are chosen to come on stage never regret their decision. Never. Friday people are also Speight’s favorite people. If you’ve never been a Friday attendee, try it out at least once. Play hooky from work or school or lie your way to the convention to experience the start-off day to the weekend.
Saturday- starts off bright and early; too bright and too early for those who attended the Karaoke party and may have been “over-served” the night before. These guests can usually be spotted wearing their sunglasses inside the theater for the first couple of panels and sipping rather large cups of coffee. It has been a common theme to have forgotten whose panel began the Saturday progaming after Speight and Benedict run through the rules and regulations for the people who decided to only show up on Saturday. There are many Saturday Only attendees and Speight does a great job of calling them out and shaming them for not participating in the fun of Friday. The Saturday Night Special concert with Louden Swain is Saturday night and is a ticketed event. Another event not to be missed during the weekend. Guests from Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been known to hit the stage and perform with the band; making the concert a perfect capper to the Saturday.
Louden Swain’s Saturday Night Special Concert. I cannot express in this article the energy and the emotion that is felt during one of these concerts. Rob Benedict performs each song from his heart and many of the songs Louden Swain performs are written from Rob’s personal experiences. He has written songs for his mother expressing his love for her and her strength through his childhood. He has written songs that helped him recover from his stroke and then songs expressing how he felt about his loved ones and their support through those times. Adding to the evening are the performances from the guests. Sometimes it would be their first time singing a piece of music of a certain genre or singing for an audience at all. Many a guest has shared their nervous energy before killing a music number that makes the audience rise to their feet in support of such a performance. It is truly an emotional event and everyone in the audience leaves feeling as if they have become a part of the Louden Swain and Supernatural Family. Haven’t attended a Saturday Night Special concert? Fix that on your next trip. Seriously.
Sunday- after all the guests and the fun and the party and the concert, Jared and Jensen arrive. There is usually one other guest scheduled for Sunday along with the leads; Seattle’s was Timothy Omundson and he was a phenomenal guest for the day.He definitely entertained those of us not headed to the long lines awaiting those who only came for Jared and Jensen. He kept the party going and since he was a part of the Saturday fun, we all had even more fun during his photo and autograph sessions.
My problem with Jared and Jensen arriving for Sunday Only: they miss all the fun and bonding time the Supernatural Family has the rest of the weekend. Sometimes Jensen will perform one song at the Saturday Night Special concert, but those are rare and Jared has never joined the concert experience. Many attendees don’t get to have an interaction with them beyond the expensive photo op and autograph sessions, so there is a lot of nervous energy and anxiety among the fans.
Overall, a Salute to Supernatural convention is one heck of a party weekend and should be enjoyed by either fans of the show or fans of the guests scheduled at least twice in their lifetimes. Why twice? Why not once? I’ll be honest: after the first one, you’ll want to do another. They are addicting, and you can’t settle for attending just one. Trust me.