Live Review: Denis Leary (The Rescue Me Comedy Tour) – Nokia Theater, Los Angeles
Mon, 06 Apr 2009 11:51:05
Denis Leary Videos
Denis Leary was born to rock. The Los Angeles stop of his Rescue Me comedy tour felt like an epic arena rock show. Leary proudly brandished a combination of George Carlin's angry brilliance, Richard Pryor's manic delivery and Robert Plant's stage swagger. This is easily the best comedy package to hit the circuit in years, and it will go down in history as one of Leary's best jaunts. Flanked by a full band, Leary delivered almost two hours of raucous rants and raves.
Before Leary's verbal war on the world kicked off, there was a palpable surge of energy in the venue. Various cuts from The Von Bondies, Kings of Leon, Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli piped through the packed Nokia Theater, as video screens showcased exclusive Rescue Me footage and information about The Leary Firefighters Organization—Denis's charity that provides equipment and training for America's brave souls in red. The lights went down, and Leary stomped onto stage in jeans, a t-shirt and a brown leather jacket. The set kicked off with a sidesplitting rendition of Leary's song "At the Rehab." The song name checked and jabbed everyone from Lindsay Lohan and Ozzy Osbourne to Amy Winehouse and Isaiah Washington. Leary's backing band, The Enablers, flawlessly carried a triplet melody as Leary screamed out the lyrics, and laughs enveloped everything.
Next, Leary launched into his, "happy, fun song," aptly titled "Fuck You." He danced and swayed as his guitarist pulled off a bluesy solo. After the two songs, the ranting commenced full force. If ranting were a sport, Leary would be its Michael Jordan—undeniably the best. He promised, "You're going to be laughing your balls off," and he more than made good on it. After a prayer for Natasha Richardson, he listed off some people that need to go skiing before they change the helmet law in Montreal—including Sharon Stone and Madonna (who, "doesn't fucking need anymore kids"). He also proposed that Madonna may just be, "stockpiling guys to fuck when she's 60"—quite the observation. Once the crowd began letting out the laughs, they couldn't stop, and Leary owned them.
"The craziest bitch in the history of crazy fuckin' bitches," a.k.a. "Octa-Mom," got it the worst. Leary pointed out that she, "looks like she fucking ate George Wendt," as he displayed a picture of her on the big screen. Thematically, the same subjects that drew his ire during his legendary No Cure for Cancer run still piss him off: celebrity assholes, pretentious assholes, political assholes, trendy assholes and, well, just plain assholes. As he told Siegfried and Roy to, "leave the fuckin' animals alone" and, in reference to a "man-scaped," hairless Ricky Martin, bellowed, "I got hair on my ass, it's stayin," Leary was angry at the world in the most beautiful way possible. Plus, the guy can rock—as proven by "Traditional Irish Folk Song" and, of course, "The Asshole Song."
The show also featured hilarious sets from Nick Di Paolo, Adam Ferrara and the incredible Lenny Clarke—who claims to have done coke once (for nine years) only to learn the metric system. Everyone generally fired right at the world, and left gaping bullet holes with their words.
Profane, poignant and powerful, Leary's something of a prophet for the 21st Century, reminding us to maintain our manhood but more importantly showing us we don't need to take this world so seriously. What's more rock n' roll than that?