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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dual Citizenship Tour ramblings

I saw Lewis Black's Dual Citizenship tour on Friday night. My review of the show is up at the Georgia Straight now. It's hard to squeeze all one's thoughts about a show into 400-odd words, so I'll ramble on a bit more now.

I really, really like Kathleen Madigan, who opened for her ex-beau Black. I'd love to see her in an extended set here sometime. Don't know if that'll happen, though, because, like many American comics who are good enough to sell out theatres across the United States, she doesn't have a high profile up north. If Paula Poundstone struggles to sell tickets, I imagine Madigan might, too. Hell, there were plenty of empty seats at Black's show, too, but that might be because they opted to perform two nights instead of one. But who knows? I could be wrong. It would be great if Will Davis brought her up for the Bleeding Media Conglomerate Comedy Festival this fall.

I guess we can't call Madigan the warm-up act because she did her 20 minutes or so, then there was a 15-minute intermission. So much for warming up the crowd. But I'm betting she was there more to allow the stragglers to arrive without missing any of the headliner. I would have preferred she just went an extra 15 – she's more than capable – without an intermission.

I liked his opening act the first two times I saw him, John Bowman, too, but he couldn't get across the border this time because of a 6-year-old DUI charge. Still, Madigan is a step up.

I mentioned Black's relaxed style in the review. That, for me, was a pleasant change. I liked the contrast. When he yelled, it meant something.

He got in some gloating at our expense, both geographically and politically. His tourbus took him from Toronto to Thunder Bay where, "THERE'S FUCKING NOTHING!" and on to Manitoba, where it's much of the same – plus they were coming off the worst winter on record. At minus-30 to -40 degrees for five or six months, "at what point do you not kill yourself?"

And he noted that our prime minister, Stephen Harper, referred to the H1N1 virus as "the Mexican flu" more than once, which is postively Bush-like. He said it was the first time in 20 years of coming to Canada that he's sensed jealousy from us.

The bulk of his act was personal in nature, as I mentioned in the review. And I much preferred it to the political, where he advocated for the legalization of marijuana and alternative energy, although I liked his line about the wonders of his iPhone: "I can download 3 million vaginas in a minute into this. Don't tell me we can't have alternative energy", even though it's nothing more than a variation on "If they can put a man on the moon...".

It was my third time seeing him in concert and this time was my favourite. A combination of a more introspective Black and a fantastic opening act made all the difference.

ADDENDUM: If you're wondering why I didn't review Flight of the Conchords, they were deemed to be a music act so you'll find it in the music section in this week's Straight. Or you can read it here.

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