I came across something the other day that made me wonder if the live music review was beginning its next comedic metamorphosis. Because I know the art of the live review is always evolving as there’s always more than one way to capture the live music experience.
Snap Reviews of Complex Performances, a live music comedy experiment of sorts by Ryan McKee (of Modest Proposal comedy troupe), made me stop and think about what impact he could have on live concert reviews. Would his Snap Reviews changed how and why live reviews are written? Was he progressing the art of the live concert review or sending it backwards? Or did his approach just need a bit of fine-tuning to make what he was doing progressive instead of regressive?
In short, what Ryan did in his brief experiment was take pictures (left) during a concert, and then afterwards, add a few snarky remarks and commentary about the fans and artists. He then used arrows to point to the unsuspecting subject’s of his highlighted funny moments frozen in time.
Here’s his apparel-focused review of a recent Girl Talk show.
“American Apparel created this Laptop Frankenstein in their Los Angeles sweatshop-free factory to DJ their events. He’s broken free and now breaks the hearts of scenester teens. God damn, he puts on a fun show though.”
It’s good to see someone attempt to add humour to live music reviewing. Because we don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.
When I first came across Ryan’s Snap Reviews I dug the idea and concept and expected to see the work of a like-minded live music fan. Because, at first glance, the Snap Reviews reminded me of my recent John Legend & The Screaming Lady Experiment.
But when I finished reading I was disappointed. Because it wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be. Though I applaud Ryan in his comical efforts, I think his idea fell short in his attempt to poke fun at hipster parents and guys with pink pimples and glasses.
And failing is fine with me. I’ve been there before when I’ve explored something new. It’s what experimenting is all about.
To make Snap Reviews better what I’d like to see Ryan do is use his comical and animation skills (see his YouTube skit approach) to tell animated vignettes of live music culture or tell short live concert stories. Now that would be something!
What do you think of Snap Reviews of Complex Performances? Have you ever done one, or been the unfortunate subject of one?
What role do you think comedians play in capturing and reflecting live music culture?