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February 23rd, 2012

Portlandia Live Tour Trashed In Washington Post


Yesterday we got another comment of the review/recap we did of Portlandia’s live tour, this one from someone who’d just seen the show at Washington, D.C.’s famed 9:30 Club. Commenter “dweebcentric” found the whole thing as disappointing as we did.  To wit:

My friends and I saw the show they did at the 9:30 Club in DC last night. It was originally sold as a sit-down show, then became a standing-only show, and then they opened it for a second time slot, which was also sold out. That was the first problem – being packed into a venue where, because now you had to stand (and stand wherever you could find room), you missed whatever the hanging speakers blocked. For that, I blame the venue itself. Plan it better, y’all.

But we were just as disappointed. When Eleanor got on stage at the end (for whatever goddamn reason) and started playing, I was already pissed. When they launched into a cover of Natalie Merchant, I was eying the door.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, if maybe the show was 15 or 20 bucks. Ok, no big deal? But at close to 40 bucks a pop, com’mon!

Over the last couple days we’ve noticed our Tweet about the show being RT’d, with a “Totally!” or “Yep!” tacked on for good measure. Even got a couple emails and phone calls from people expressing their discontent with the whole thing. Then, the Washington Post’s review of the D.C. show found its way into our inbox. And, whoa! It’s a ball buster. Dan Zak goes hard on lil ole Fred and Carrie. Just straight drops bombs on them. Bombs like this:

Thirty-six dollars for half-hearted retreads of musical numbers from the show, a “trilogy” of short sketch videos with zero laughs and a Q&A session during which Washingtonians asked stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein what it’s like to work with Kyle McLachlan, what it’s like to work with Kristen Wiig and “Are you two having sex?” The co-stars, who seemed uninterested in their own show, couldn’t come up with a pithy rejoinder to that question. The resulting awkwardness tipped the show from rambling pastiche to an ill-conceived, half-baked, rudderless, 80-minute chat about nothing.

Yowza! That last sentence means business. And it was totally our experience at the show. Here’s more Zak Attack:

The pickled egoism that they lampoon on television was presented as unspun matter-of-factness on stage, creating a self-referential, self-defeating artistic disconnect, an ouroboros in a wormhole.

We had “an ouroboros” in our “wormhole” once. It went away with medication. But this is about something different. We think. Anyway, read the whole thing here. And, confidential to Fred and Carrie: TRY HARDER. You’re pissing people off!

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