Thursday, May 13, 2010

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live! @The Nokia Theatre, May 11th

Caught "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live!" the other night at The Nokia Theatre. Not my usual cup of tea -- I went because Bestest Boy and my brother are fans, and I managed to snag them and some buddies a block of front row tickets. I actually have enjoyed an episode here and there of the show on Cartoon Network, but usually at 2 in the morning when I'm half asleep and have the drunken attention span that the 15 minute show demands. I was curious how the live format would go, and though some moments were definitely funny, the uneven momentum never allowed the show to really take off.

(More words and pics after the jump.)

First things first, I wanna complain about the start time. Doors at 7, show at 8. Or so they said. By the time Dave Willis came onto the stage after 8:45, we were seriously annoyed. Who did they think they were? Axl Rose? Maybe they were hoping the venue would be more than 2/3s full.

Willis opened up competently on acoustic guitar with harmonica for a little ditty, but unfortunately, the mic for the guitar didn't work, so he had to resort to lowering his vocal mic and alternating between bending and standing so the crowd could hear him play. In all that time they had us wait, they couldn't have soundchecked the guitar? What was this, amateur hour? Now that I think about it, the mic problem kinda did serve as a harbinger of things to come...

But let me first get the praiseworthy out of the way. In the middle of the show came the only real reason for seeing this show -- this large, gloomy clown named Puddles who sang a mini-set of songs including a stirring rendition of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" into Metallica's "Enter Sandman." He was amazing and had a tremendous voice. Accompanied by a weird monkey girl (who fed a banana to Bestest Boy), Puddles was both simultaneously mesmerizing and hilarious, without resorting to obvious gags.

Other than Puddles, probably the best moments belonged to Carl (the puppet, voiced by Willis), as he did his regional rant, as well as some actual guy who dressed like Carl and for a long time, sat on the side of the stage eating three pies of pizza. The Meatwad voice competition was funny, but ran a little long. The Squidbillies? Nahhhh. And we really didn't need to see Dana Snyder's acting reel over and over again.

As it often feels with SNL bits that get made into full feature movies, it felt like they had some good material but unfortunately ran out of gas and had to stretch it out with skits that went on a touch too long. The evening was somewhat amusing, but perhaps the humor of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is best enjoyed at home on a couch with a bag of Cheetos.

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