I went to Fred Armisen and all I got was J. Mascis
Fred Armisen came to Vermont recently. Yeah, that’s right, Vermont got the Portlandia guy to come perform here. Pretty nuts, right? Every time someone hears Burlington, Vermont, they’re all like ‘isn’t that a smaller Portland/Austin/Asheville?” And the answer is yes, it is. It is like that, especially with all the white people.
Fred Armisen came to the Unitarian Church, and I didn’t know what to expect. His tour was billed as a comedy tour, but if anything it was some weird variety show, saved by the special guestship of J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr). The show seemed haphazardly put together, the jokes went on too long (not a coincidence), and yet it was good. Quite good. J Mascis good.
It started with Armisen doing a ‘character’, a British punk rocker. He played a bunch of songs and had a good British accent. The audience laughed continuously at kind-of-punchlines, in the way that famous people are automatically funnier and more interesting than us boring losers are. There were some drum jokes (duh), and then the surprise Dinosaur Jr guest came.
We were shown some clips from Portlandia that didn’t make it into the show, both of which were funny and went on for a couple minutes after the punchline had ended. Then there was a Q and A, a quick way to kill a half hour. It ended with a soulful rendition of Waterfalls by TLC.
It’s good Armisen has famous musicians friends to make all the crotchety Hipsters like me happy. At the end of the day he’s still a musician and sketch writer first, performing comedian second. I’m glad I saw him, but probably wouldn’t spend the money to see him again.