Comedian Opening for a Band?: Jo Firestone at Lincoln Hall (June 12, 2015)

Should a comedian open up for a band? Can these two forms of entertainment fit in the same bill? Tonight they’ll give it a try as Jo Firestone opens up for Will Butler. In a surprise, Will Butler comes out first to play a couple songs on acoustic guitar. Before introducing Firestone, he instructs the audience to turn around and then when Jo enters, turn around and chant Teddy (as in Theodore Roosevelt) for 2 minutes. The crowd obliges.  Afterwards, she has the audience play a game: Bird, Murderer, or Bird-Murderer.  She reads “Robin” and everyone yells “Bird”. She reads “Charles Manson” and the crowd yells “Murderer”. “Colonel Sanders” is met with the response “Bird-Murder!”  It’s this style of absurd interactive comedy throughout her set. Then, to “return the favor”, Jo instructs the audience to chant WWII when Will Butler returns to the stage after her set.  I guess they share the same sense of humor, so in that way it is a match.

However, the transition to listening to music was a tough adjustment. This is especially true without a set break between the acts. Also, Will Butler started off with some very serious songs that were a very strong contrast to comedy. He should start with more light hearted material to make the change smoother.  While it may be possible to have a comedian and a band perform back to back with success, this night left room for improvement.

Quinn Delaney


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