Hanna reviews the Eddie Izzard show we saw on Tuesday. Cross-posted from …fly over me, evil angel…
so a few last thoughts on the eddie izzard “big intimacy” show and then i promise i’ll shut up about him for awhile.
as you may have noticed in my thursday post, anna and i had a phenomenal time at the show. neither of us are big on concerts, shows, or big arena-type events and it was the first time either of us had been at the banknorth garden. i have to say, though, for a relatively big event, the running of it was really smooth. the banknorth staff were really helpful and very polite. our tickets got upgraded very seriously at the last minute — not that we realised this until we were sitting down and triangulated where our original tickets would have placed us — and the process went really smoothly.
with the new tickets, we weren’t quite “stage-side” but we were way closer than we would have been which was originally somewhere in the nosebleeds of the nosebleed section. we wouldn’t really even have been able to see the jumbo-tron screens very well. as it was, we were about a dozen rows back from the seating on the actual floor and just about ideally placed to take advantage of the three gigantic screens on the stage. mr. izzard looked quite tiny by comparison to the giant digital versions of himself. he did realise this and made a point of telling the audience, particularly those in the front rows, that they weren’t to feel obligated to try and look at him: “because, really, that guy up there? he’s doing the exact same things as me. except — maybe a bit slower.”
honestly, i thought he was hilarious. three hours worth of pretty damn solid hilarious. when considering live performances, i try to take into account — for some strange reason — whether or not i could or would be willing to try and do the same kind of thing. in this case, hell, no. i am in awe of his skill at a) remembering material; b) handling an audience; and c) making them both seem effortless. i mean, i am sure he could recite this material if woken up out of a dead sleep he’s said it that many times — and it seemed new. it seemed as though he were just making some of it up for our benefit right then and there because he thought we’d think it was funny. making that kind of connection with an audience of several thousand people is a fucking impressive skill. this is why great rock band front men are great. the same skills apply here, i feel.
and you know what else is a fucking impressive skill? getting that same audience of several thousand people in tears of laughter over latin. latin, people. (i apologise for the sound quality on this one; it’s a little dodgy. but also lots of thanks to anna for digging up all the youtube clips for me when i didn’t have the time to do it in time to put this post up.)
i did have a moment or two of indecision when it came to using these at all since “no recording” rules were on the tickets. but then i decided…well, what the fuck. it really is too funny to give up the opportunity of illustrating my point with primary source material, so to speak.
the only real irritation in the show came from two young women seated behind anna and myself — they left just after the start of the “second act,” thank god, or i would’ve had to dopeslap them — who insisted on critiquing the show quite audibly and discussing their social lives when they weren’t commenting that, “oh, he’s done that joke before” or “that’s just what he did in st. louis.” well, yes, probably both true. two essential points that you’re missing here: a) he is here, now. why don’t you shut up and enjoy the show in front of you? and b) there’s a fine line between “recycled material” and “a long-standing joke with the fans” both of which he had but he mostly managed to keep the first feeling like the second. it has to do, i think, with the variety of characters he manages to summon up out of thin air to populate the stage and illustrate what he’s talking about: