Saturday, March 22, 2014
"Do you like punny songs about pizza?" the show began. "Great!" Because, hey, who doesn't?
On stage was Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone star turned not-so-starving weirdo artist, performing with his band Pizza Underground, a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band. In its on-point review of the show, The Washington Post's Chris Richards refers to Culkin's latest endeavor as a "meme band," which about sums it up. Tickets cost $20, & the demand was so high that the sold-out show was moved from The Black Cat's side stage to its main stage to accommodate hungry (ha) fans.
Maybe you're aware of my deep & abiding love of the Home Alone movies. In fact, I own all four of them - yes, four - on DVD, though Culkin appears in only the first two (which are obviously the only ones worth watching). Long before BuzzFeed started obsessively sharing movie factoids, thus effectively solidifying the film's cult-classic status, I was watching the first movie approximately a dozen times a year, irrespective of the date on the calendar. Because Home Alone is a cinematic masterpiece that cannot be confined to Christmastime.
It goes without saying, then, that I was no-holds-barred enthusiastic about seeing Kevin McAllister in the flesh, & fortunately, I found a few friends who were a mix of A) similarly enthusiastic, &/or B) willing to indulge me. None of us was delusional enough to believe this would be a good show in the traditional sense of the word "good" - & we got exactly what we expected.
The show started with the "band" passing out a few boxes of cold pizza, & that was probably the most normal thing that happened all night. During most of the songs, Macaulay Culkin played a tiny plastic trumpet (think glorified kazoo). One of his bandmates spoke with a faux German accent. He introduced his actress girlfriend as "Edie Breadstick," & she performed a weirdly sexified version of "Perfect Day" with modified, pizza-centric lyrics. A poor-man's Kurt Cobain impersonator sang an esoteric, past-tense version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." And at one point, the band stopped playing & started dancing like crazy... to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire," set to a PowerPoint presentation of cats & the inexplicably appropriate hashtag #PUSSYJOEL.
At one point, Culkin asked the audience, "What's the difference between a pepperoni pizza & a boner?" After a pause, he announced casually, "I don't have a pepperoni pizza right now. But seriously, you guys are giving me a hard-on."
OK, so it wasn't directed at me. Or was it? Pizza Underground was on stage for a mere 45 minutes, which was plenty bordering on too much. It was everything I wanted it to be & more.
Photo credit: Chris Richards, Washington Post