Reggie Watts at Under The Radar Festival 2013
Like many Americans, if you lay virgin to a Reggie Watts performance there is no surefire way to mentally prepare for the soul stimulating experience. In case you want some background basics however, let us give you some minor tips:
1) Wear comfortable shoes.
2) Make sure you slab on a few extra layers of deodorant prior to.
3) Hold your drink in the hand you write with. (It’s more secure and less prone to accidental spills during the spontaneous “King of Improv’s” set.
At NYC’s The Public Theatre, in a room best compared to a black box, Reggie Watts performed, tucked in upper left stage with a hexed Echo/Delay box at the closing night of the Under The Radar Festival this past weekend.
The “King of Improv ” is best known for his unforgettable comedic music videos like “What about Blowjobs” and “Fuck Shit Stack” as well as the standup comedy DVD “Why Shit So Crazy” released on Comedy Central, but nothing can compare to a live set from Watts.
The uncertainty of his performance was even more mind-boggling to a newbie like myself. As the echo of his drawl rose through the speakers, the vibrations penetrated the cores of the listeners, resulting in a wave of “woo’s” and “oh yeah’s.” Mixing comedy and the art of improvisation, Watts pushes out melodies like an assembly line, capturing the fundamental nature of sound itself by using his own voice as an instrument.
Although there is no footage of the live performance yet, here is a preview of what it’s like to witness an impromptu set by Reggie.
While he mesmerized the people with sound, artist Michael D. Arthur stimulated the visual psyche with a live art-video installation. Sitting at a wooden desk adjacent Watts, Arthur drew colorful masterpieces on single sheets of paper. While a projector displayed his every stroke, it was then showcased on two large papier-mâché canvas overhead. Arthur’s art was unprecedented for each musical piece and all construed on site.
From the vibe of the ending celebration held at The Public the actual festival is something all of the New York art scene should be attending.
The 12-day passes sell out quickly but single tickets are worth the $20 dollars (15 for UTR members)
Check out Under The Radar and The Public Theatre on their websites for more information on future shows, Michael D Arthur at Inklines and on his Twitter for more amazing art and follow Reggie on Twitter to stay posted on all his whereabouts and forthcoming venues.
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