04-25-2010: Brian Regan
Where: Rochester Civic Center Auditorium, Rochester, MN
Went with: Myself, Wife
So this was my first comedian concert. I truly had no idea what to expect, but since I’ve loved Brian Regan’s comedy before and I knew it was clean, I figured it would be a great time to try a ‘big time’ venue and have a nice date-night with my wife.
His brother was the warm-up act (funny stuff) and Brian was excellent! All throughout it was quite funny and probably 3 or 4 times when I couldn’t catch my breath…that’s when you know it’s really really funny.
The above photo shows him in action, and how close we were…first row! Was quite excited to get this close.
But here is the photo that struck me the most: This was just before he went on. Look. There’s only a mic, background lights, and 2 water bottles on a stool. That’s it. I was really taken.
Every concert I go to (or play in) is a band with a whole rack of gear, drums, speakers, amps that fill the stage, and a guitarist that can hold a single note and have the crowd cheer.
A comic? He has nothing. He has his body language, voice, and … I think that’s it:
- He can’t repeat a chorus to fill up time.
- He doesn’t have instruments to solo with…to add to the emotion
- He can’t even milk a joke…otherwise it ruins the whole thing
- His enemy is silence so early on as the crowd is warming up, he’s got to blast jokes out one after another
- He can’t even tell long stories that build otherwise the laugh-engine has to get re-cranked again (at least that’s what I felt)
Then I got to thinking about the logistics and his career:
- He has no merch table. Maybe he doesn’t want to hire another employee? Maybe past tables didn’t profit much? I know I would have purchased a shirt
- Just him and his brother. Do they fly/drive on weekends then go home to a normal life with the kids?
- How much overhead do they have? Can they support their family with this gig? What’s their long-term goals?
I was quite impressed at this performing medium. What a daunting and challenging way to earn a living.
What I love about Brian is that he used simple topics that everyone could relate to and squeezed out hilarious observations. Maybe it’s because they’re things that the whole audience can relate to is why he’s so funny. It’s things like wrestling with kids, watching Nova, getting a ride on a motorcycle…things we can all relate to.
He even was able to impress upon me the need to not stop my kids exploration just because it’s not ‘proper behavior’. “Don’t you know the paint on the wall is more important then the joy in your heart?!?” That is something to ponder as I continue to raise my kids.
All in all, quite a great evening of entertainment, and actually, quite a night to ponder how hard and dedicated you have to be to attempt stand-up for a living.
Well done, Brian!
For background, I first heard Brian Regan on the Dennis Miller radio show. He was very funny. I then watched every single YouTube clips I could. Strange thing, though: Usually for a band you really want to know the music beforehand…but with a comedian, a joke is best heard first so you don’t really want to have heard anything…but you then don’t even know if it’s any good! strange. Here’s one of my favorites: