Published on theMusic.com.au, Oct 2015
The rate at which Russell Brand processes information and spits it back out into intellectual social commentary is, on its own, an impressive feat. Add that to the fact that he was born to be a comedian and you have a dangerous combination.
It’s been an interesting couple of years for the English comedian-turned-actor-turned-activist, with the media scrutinising every single word he’s uttered and often blowing it out of proportion. The stage is where Brand gets to set the record straight with fast-paced, observational wit.
“Don’t go to Armadale, is that right? Unless you explicitly require meth,” Brand said, reading a pen note on his hand.
“I’m here to talk about important things,” he added, after taking a swing at The Eagles. The title of his tour was one that allowed him to dive into the political nature of his web series, The Trews.
His YouTube series often attacks those with power in an effort to get important conversation started, but the live version didn’t have the same impact. While Brand outlined problems such as poverty and made compelling cases for social urgency, he didn’t really provide any practical solutions to the issues at hand. Instead, he spent his time on stage justifying his actions as portrayed by the media in an effort to prove he’s not the nut job they’ve made him out to be.
But that doesn’t really matter when Brand is standing in front of 5,000 people pretending to breastfeed Donald Trump.
It’s clear that Brand’s on the right path to influencing change — proving his humour to be an unstoppable tool — he just needs a more constructive set to truly engage with punters enough to get the ball rolling. This is where he started to steer things at the set’s end, leaving everyone with a quote from Rocky IV.
“I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.”
As far as comedy sets go, Brand delivers A-class gold; he’s just not having as much impact as he sets out to.