Festival Supreme Dos Manos

Festival Supreme Dos Manos

by JasonBryan / Oct 12, 2015 / 0 comments
Saturday, 10 October 2015

Jack Black and Kyle Gass bring another Festival Supreme to Los Angeles, and much like the burrito supreme which inspired a lyric in a song by their band Tenacious D, which the festival draws its name from, it was a kind of like everything wrapped into a tortilla. With four stages and a line up chock full of comedy acts, rock and roll, Dj’s and artists stepping out of their comfort zones, it was a festival supreme dos manos.

The festival was laid out pretty well for the most part, and it was easy to get from stage to stage. The stages were close enough to each other so it was easy to catch a little bit of every act. Unfortunately for me, acts I wanted to see played at the same time, but this, like gravity, is a law that somehow all festival planners know how to achieve. Simultaneous set times of favored acts at a festival probably has higher odds than getting into the slowest line at the grocery store.

The first thing that really caught my attention on Stagezilla (the main stage) early in the day was the band PPL MVR (People Movers). The front man and guitarist came out in a full body indomitable snowman suit, with the bassist and drummer as sasquatches. The costumes were fantastic. The music was relatively solid, and it was fun watching the indomitable snowman do his Theremin dance. The spectacle overpowered the music and the outfit gimmick is the memory I’m taking home from their set, but what a spectacle.

With the sun blaring down I followed some friends into the comfort of the air conditioning of the Karma Chameleon stage to catch the Nathan Fielders set, where he showed a video clip (video clips were pretty common on this stage, but it is the room that hosted the Oscars ten times, so maybe it’s destiny) of helping an antique store boost its business by staying opened 24 hours and inviting drunks to stumble in and break stuff, then enforcing their “you break it you buy it” policy.

When you’re in comedy mode, you just roll with it as Neil Hamburger took the stage in the Jesus Lizard lounge. Mr. Hamburger has a passionate following, and a sense of humor to match is hairstyle, what little there is of it. His jokes are of the variety (pardon my paraphrase) “Why did Eric Clapton switch to Mac?” The crowd shouts “Why Neil?”, “Because he has a problem with windows.” The bad humor continued outside where The Big Three, from Windy City Heat fame took Stagezilla. This was a misplaced act on that stage, as their brand of humor, which is basically bullying their friend for the fun of it, was lost on an audience looking for a more rocking earful.

After catching a few minutes of the Big Three I ran inside to catch Amy Poehler on the Jesus Lizard stage, and caught her sharing the stage with Jack Black for a minute, but no sooner than that, her set was over. The organizers did a very good job of having the bands on and off stage on their scheduled set times.

On my way outside I came across a band playing in the hallway covering the Supremes, and they were the Festival Supremes, no sooner did I get out of the way of the crowd to catch their act, when they said thank you to their admirers. –two tail ends in a row. At least I knew Big Freedia was just getting started. The self-proclaimed Queen of Bounce did just that and took the volume and the energy of the festival to a new level of supreme.

Henry Rollins came on the Komodo Dragon stage to deliver some of his spoken word, which has been quite a successful second career for him, but after catching a few minutes of him I had to bolt inside and catch a childhood favorite of mine in the Karma Chameleon stage, Super Dave Osborne. He came out and did a quick number in denial of how poorly trained his dog is, told a slew of old zingers, and showed a couple of clips from his old TV show. I dragged some friends that had never seen his show, and after seeing Super Dave playing a piano on the roof of an RV and getting smashed by a tunnel overpass, they walked out feeling like they missed part of their childhood. They did.

Over on the Jesus Lizard lounge a hodge-podge of comedians and musicians were joining forces in a segment called Bring the Rock, which I felt fell flat. It was the longest performance of the show with comedians and musicians coming on and off the stage and playing with the house band The Electric Snowflake, but musically it was like local bar music, and comedic anecdotes often seemed forced to have a musical tie in. But there were three other stages, so I ventured out to Stagezilla for Rocket from the Crypt.

On the Komodo Dragon stage Andrew W.K came out and went right for the gusto asking the audience if their ready to party, and then playing one of his half dozen songs with party being the primary lyric. I have to say he was all smiles and thumbs up, and I wished I’d of caught more of his set, but the D was taking the stage in the Jesus Lounge.

Tenacious D advertised a jazz set, and played a half hour of it. They brought a fun medley of classics to their jazz beat, including “On Broadway” and Moondance. There was no shortage of JB screaming in the mic like only he can. The only traditional piece of the D’s music they played was the intro to “Tribute” mixed in with their 30 minutes of continuous jazz. Which featured family members on saxophone and harmonica. As the festivals organizer’s, they should have given themselves an hour on the main stage, but I did enjoy seeing them do something that is probably a once in a lifetime set.

With the sun fully set, “The Darkness” took Stagezilla. They were the most rock and roll band on the festivals line up, and they brought the rock. I was amazed at how many people were singing along to all the really fast lyrics in “A Thing Called Love”.

Kids in the Hall were inside on the Komodo stage, and it was great to see that group on the stage working together again, since we’ve become accustomed to seeing a member on this or that show over the years. After a few nostalgic laughs I ventured outside to catch a bit of Dan Deacons musical comedy, he kind of reminded me of a guy playing on his Casio keyboard, but his humor is in the lyrics.

Die Antwoord closed the night on Stagezilla. Arguably the most popular South African rap group, they really brought the angst. My younger self would have loved trying to keep up with all the F-bombs and bird flying gestures.

Festival Supreme had some highs and lows, some hits and misses, and some questionable stage choices, but it was organized well logistically. There were plenty of concessions and restrooms, so you didn’t have to miss anything to get what you needed. And the proximity of the stages was very convenient. The Shrine Auditorium and surrounding area was a great venue for an event like this. Overall it’s an ambitious project to merge stand up, musical comedy, and rock and roll, but if you were a fan of any act performing it was a great place to see them with a plethora of supporting acts.

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