I unfortunately missed Brendon Green’s show last year which had sold out. This only further fueled my excitement and anticipation for his show this year. Green’s charming personality captures your attention from the get go. The stage was set with two painted canvasses, one of a “Portrait of a puppy snake…” and one of “School of wizards” and his trusty guitar.
We were taken on an intimate self-reflective tour of Green’s emotional psyche and his unrelenting desire for true love. The self confessed Taylor Swift fanboy serenaded us with various songs he’d written tackling a variety of issues and the emotions that at times strangled them but that ultimately, everything is alright.
A little bit crazy, a little bit quirky, very talented, very funny and easy on the eye.
In Auckland at The Basement Studio till Saturday 4 May
Firstly, I'd like to say that in its quietly pathetic Wiki-geek way this show gets my vote for best title. So there's a point scored before I've even clapped eyes on this young Green yobbo and heard his jokes. Plays a bit of music too apparently, so let's see…
The title cleverly references the premise that loosely underpins the hour-long show of personal confessions and egocentric anecdotes: if your beliefs don't get you what you want, just change them! And if you goals don't work out as you'd planned, pretend they never were your goals!
Admittedly his name and the fact he sings had me unable to avoid recalling that paragon of nineties American teen-television Brian Austin Green. It turns out that while blond and distinctly Kiwi, his chiselled features and preppy haircut aren't a million miles from the mark.
His demeanour is youthful, cheeky and just a fraction awkward. His material is fairly sound - the frequent occasions where he laughs at his own jokes aren't entirely unfounded. He can paint an entertaining picture defining life experiences, such as the time he fainted after giving blood (before a song about how we should all give blood).
If his perpetual grin is any indication, it seems to work. Clearly Brendan has a privileged background, free to indulge in Romcoms and Taylor Swift without harsh judgement from anyone that really matters to him. In fact (Spoiler Alert!), his deepest regret in life is that no-one does matter that much to him – he's never been in love. Sad for a likeable young fellow who refers to just about every female he knows as ‘amazing!' (Ends)
Musically, Brendan fuses astute, clever lyrics with confidently strummed and picked riffs and adequate vocal skills in the classic burgeoning Vedder/Tremonti wannabe style. The rockier numbers would benefit from some serious amplification and/or distortion. In a way it's fairly brave of him to share his original songs with us, given his (current) belief that we shouldn't judge anyone for anything, except their musical taste – and he has an audience game to highlight the assertion.
Having witnessed Green's enjoyable light-hearted late-night comedy fest fare, I'll be happy to provide the required citation.
Because of simplicity and blurting, here are a list of things you can look forward to, should you make the decision to watch Brendon Green's show (and with 2-for-1 deals like this why wouldn't you make that decision?):
A well set up and balanced theme, to wit: "My life is funny and achy at the same time and I'm okay with that."
Songs and stories (topics covered: fainting at the gym, giving blood, dying alone, etc.) featuring wordplay, nifty guitar skills and audience participation.
Funny stuff his mum said that she meant seriously.
Great laughs at an audience member's expense (but it's fine to be that audience member because Brendon Green makes it feel alright to be laughed at).
Some jumping, if you're lucky.
A final thought that ends the night on an uneasy, philosophical note, which means that while you know you've just finished watching an hour of jokes, you also know that comedy is a form of theatre, and as such it should challenge you and make you think, and so maybe some of the things Brendon Green made funnies about were actually referencing deeply metaphysical concerns that you might want to think about for longer than the 20 minutes it takes you to get home.
A Taylor Swift song.
In summary: get that 2-for-1 deal -> see Brendon Green -> have laughter come out of your face.
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Yvan J DrakeBrendon Green invites you into his artwork adorned Basement Studio, to bring to you his cute and sweet views on life and love.
Bringing you his trademark songs with his delightfully hilarious twists-turned-punchlines, mixed with his adorable puppy-esque charm, his pop/hip hop/rock/rap creations, intermingled with some very strong standup, Green introduces you to the sweet side of life. The side that tells you that everything is going to be ok. It just depends on how you look at it.
I can think of no more appropriate term for him than the "Creme egg of NZ comedy", and as such, this year's show earns him four Quinoa.
P.s. Taylor Swift: if you're reading this, I recommend a restraining order before it is too late....