REGGIE WATTS Concert Review (El Cid)

“Reggie in Full Effect”

I had the pleasure of seeing the comedic, freestylin’, beatbox, looping and hirsute improvisational musical maestro otherwise known as Reggie Watts at El Cid in Los Angeles on October 4, 2016. I’ve been a huge fan of Reggie’s various projects over the years and was ecstatic to see him perform in such an intimate venue, for a modest $10 entrance fee, no less!

A cavalcade of interesting entertainers were present for the evening, including Andy Dick, Dan Harmon of Channel 101 and TV Funhouse fame, among many others.

Once Reggie and his 4 piece band “Karen” took the stage, the crowd was strapped into a rollercoaster ride in which the accelerated dips and loops awaiting them were initially opaque and unfathomable.

Given the improvisational nature of Reggie’s work, it is logistically impossible for me to cite the songs that were performed. And in a way, the temporal “you’ll never witness this ever again” nature of Reggie’s performances makes him an even more ephemerally precious diamond, a jewel that you have the pleasure of witnessing in person but will never see again in quite the same form ever again.

Reggie’s first track had post-punk musical sensibilities, with heavy basslines and percussion. The third track had a “Howard Jones” lyrical content and cadence that reminded me of the bastard child of some forgotten 80’s pop track.

“Karen” and its four members were musically tight, adeptly playing off each other and following Reggie’s lyrical lead with swift and responsive aplomb.

In another song Reggie skillfully rhymed the phrases “things got grainy” with “Matt Groening”…going on to talk about his experiences in the Northwest where it’s “always rainy” and loving to eat “Little Debbies” (pastries). If you are a fan of potato salad or macaroni salad you may have been a bit more saddened, however, given Reggie’s repeated diss of these unappealing mayonnaise-infused foodstuffs.

Reggie also commented on past fashion and music trends, making reference to high-waisted Z Cavarrici jeans , and jokingly shouting that they were going to play a Stone Temple Pilots cover. By the time of the closing track, the crowd was gleefuylly singing along with Reggie with the syncopated call and response chorus of “There’s a feline on my shoulder and I want it to go.” Or at least I think that’s what they were singing.

After my first live foray into Reggiedom, it was my conclusion that with this dynamic performer you never know exactly what you’re going to get. And that, my friends, is a very good thing in this otherwise numbingly predictable and boring world.

For all the latest on Reggie, check out www.reggiewatts.com.

Jason Reed
Inner Edge Music

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