Weekend Live Entertainment Review: Colin Hay, Comedy, X & Violent Femmes

Busy and FUN weekend for me last weekend with live entertainment all 3 night of my weekend.

Friday- Colin Hay at Humphreys (from the docks)

Friday during the day we moved my friends sailboat to anew marina, the marina adjacent to Humphreys outdoor venue on Shelter Island. If you've been there , or you've read my previous reviews and blogs, you know you don't need a ticket to see, or hear the shows at Humphrey's. You can watch from the docks or from a kayak or boat floating in the marina, which I've done many times...

This time I watched from the docks. It's a great fun party atmosphere on the docks as people bring their "party supplies" and hang out with friends, and new friends. This was my first time watch from there and I had great fun! The concert itself was fun, but not nearly as great as Colin Hay was last summer when he performed at Wein's Family Cellars.

The opening band was Colin's wife with his band. This was a clearly a forgettable point of the night....bad Latin versions of rock songs. I would rather have just seen a shorter concert and skipped the inept attempts to personalize rock songs.

The evening improved when Colin himself hit the stage...although at first it didn't improve much. Last year Colin sprinkled his hits throughout the set so the Men at Work fans got their favorites at different times. This night the crowd was forced to sit through mostly unknown solos stuff and he didn't really get to the "hits' to much alter in the concert. When he finally did people were treated to good version of "Who Can it Be Now" "Down Under" and "Overkill" al;though his wife's spastic dancing was an unnecessary distraction from Hay's excellent vocal work....

Saturday- Comedy Heights

This is a weekly FREE comedy show down in University Heights that I have attended and blogged about a few times. It's a BYOB comedy show where you bring whatever you want to eat or drink, they sell you nothing and just pass a hat around to collect donations for the performers. Every time I've gone so far I've had a great time.....

This was the first time, it looked like that string of totally good times would be broken. Usually you see one lousy comedian, 2 really good comedians and 2 GREAT comedians... and never know until they hit the stage who will be great. This even was one dud after another...there was one comedian who passed out stickers with "Mikey _______ is not funny" I don't want to embarrass the guy by giving out his full name, because it could have just been an off night for him...but his sticker was accurate.

The final comedian of the night saved the entire show! Remember the name Ryan Hicks... This guy as the headliners, singl handed saved the night! I've seen Ryan before, and he's always been very funny, but this night, he was better than ever! Even though jokes I'd heard before were fresh and funny and when he 'freestyled" (playing directly off the crowd), he was at his best.

Sunday- X and Violent Femmes at Humphreys (from inside the venue this time)

When my friend Liza offered me tickets to see the Violent Femmes, I jumped at the chance, being a longtime fan. I didn't know until the day before that legendary L.A. band X was also on the bill. What a great surprise!

Full disclosure, I have seen both of these bands at least a dozen times over the years as I am a big fan of their music and I have helped produced radio festivals and shows that both bands have performed at..

X played first. They looked surprising youthful (the band lineup is still original and 40 years going strong). They still looked like they were having fun and they are all still excellent musicians and the harmonies of John Doe and Excene Cervenka are still as good....actually even better than their early days as part of the late 70's early 80's L.A. punk scene...

My only complaint was that there were several "hits" they didn't play...but knowing so many of their songs, it would be impossible for them to play every song I like, or they'd have to do a 3 hour show.

Finally, the highlight of my weekend was the final performance of the weekend. Like I wrote earlier, I have seen the Violent Femmes at least a dozen times, including the early "busker" versions of performing and their full shows at the peak of their career. The band may actually be on their way to another peak as their new music is great and they are even better live now! The addition of a new band member who plays both the smallest (about the size of a sandwich) saxophone and largest (about 12 feet high and sitting in stand because no one could hold this giant in their arms), saxophone was epic and the "barbecue drumming" (literally on a barbecue) of John Sparrow impressed the hell out of my friend with me Chris (who is also a drummer).

Brian Ritchie and Gorden Gano played great and sang even better! All songs had humor, fun and sing along ability both old songs and new....and there is new music, including the new single "Hotel Last Resort"...which I did play and will continue to play on the Sunday Night Music Meeting.

The Violent Femes will be back in Southern Cal this summer...I highly recommend going to see them!

Pics from the concerts below....

Dwight Arnold

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