REVIEW / VIDEO: Reggie Watts @ The Mezzanine, SF 2/1/12

Reggie Watts @ The Mezzanine, 2/1/12 | © Pete Merriman

While it could be old news to other folks who’ve followed his work for years, last Wednesday night was my first exposure to the comedian / musician / actor known as Reggie Watts. As part of San Francisco’s annual SketchFest, Reggie Watts was in town to do a Reggiedency, a four-night showcase spread between a bunch of different venues in SF. The show I caught was at Mezzanine and while I missed the openers of Garfunkel and Oates, the show I saw was action packed.

That’s because Reggie’s act is beyond action packed. What starts as a little beatbox loop will become a world music song with fake lyrics referencing nothing in particular at all. Vocal changes occur dramatically fast, constantly forcing you to pay attention to what he’s up to on stage. All of this makes his act something to pay attention to, which he then exploits in ways you definitely never expect coming.

In short, I was blown away.

His show started with a bit of a beatbox loop that is captured here (not my video):

And the encore began with this video that @PeteLikesMusic snapped:

In between, he took us on an adventure through space and time with a vocal jam dedicated to tuberculosis, a Lord of the Rings inspired story of garbled language and funny made up words, and finally onto one of the best dubstep songs I’ve ever heard (using only his microphone and a looping pedal). It put everyone in the crowd into a nice frenzied sense of humor before heading off into the night, especially after that Phoenix dance-along.

I will never miss a chance to see this guy perform live. Absolutely incredible.