This past Tuesday I attended the Portlandia event at the Echoplex with my good friend Lindsey. We got there around 7:30 and grabbed a slice of New York style pizza at Two Boots Pizza (I highly recommend this place). Then we headed down to the monster line forming at the Echoplex doors. We finally got in the Echo around 8:30p (for an 8pm show time). As a fan of the show who had high expectations for this event, I can tell you it lived up to the high standards I had for it.
I only took a few pics because it was so crowded and I didnt want to block peoples views with my camera. It was a standing event and I was surrounded by very tall people. I’ll do my best to recap the show, although Im sure I’ve got things backwards/left things out.
-The show began with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein coming up on stage and doing a bit about text messaging. After the bit and talking to the audience they brought up a drummer and keyboardist and started playing “Dream of the 90’s” (see the video from the tv show below)
They showed a series of clips from season 2, one of which was a three parter about a band that is struggling to find fans. They decide they need a gimmick and the only thing that hasn’t been done is having a cat as a member of the band. Eventually the band does really well with the cat, and a crazy fan (Kristen Wigg) holds them hostage. They decide that having someone holding them hostage is another great gimmick for the band and they all go on tour. I’m doing it no justice, but it’s a really funny 3-part skit that you should definitely watch in season 2.
Next, Fred and Carrie came out as the bookstore ladies! They were interested in opening a bookstore in LA and needed advice on where to open it from a local, aka Aubrey Plaza (from Parks + Recreation). They improved an awesome bit about LA. A crowd pleaser, for sure. For people who haven’t seen the show I’ve included a clip below (which also includes Aubry’s character on the show).
They showed a music video that they created for season 2 of Portlandia, which takes the premise of the “Dream of the 90’s” video and makes it “Dream of the 1890’s”. After this they also performed the “Portland You Are My Home” song that they wrote for the Mayor as a Portland theme song in season 1. This song (and “Dream of the 90’s”) is available on iTunes, and you can bet money that I have my copy of both.
Fred and Carrie brought Kumail Nanjiani on stage to do an improved bit about renting a car. On Portlandia Kumail played a cell phone provider with zillions of options for cell phone plans (which is so true to the real world). See the clip from the tv show here:
The skit they did last night was along the exact same lines except Fred and Carrie need to rent a car while they’re in LA. Kumail, as the car rental agent, has so many options and all they want is a simple car for 2 days. I hope Kumail makes it into season 2 because he’s really funny. To see more of him, check out the UCBLA Theater on Frankin, as he performs standup there often.
Fred and Carrie sang a song from season 2 of Portlandia, all about how people go through so much schooling to “find themselves” and then end up being happy designing (ugly) jewelry, that they then make friends and relatives buy. They had the audince raise their hands if they were wearing jewelry that night that was made by a friend of theirs… many hands went up.
After more music, Fred and Carrie did a Q+A round which was hilarious. Audience questions are always awkward and inappropriate, yet they did a great job answering questions while keeping it funny and easing any awkward tension.
Toward the end of the show they brought out Susanna Hoffs (from the Bangles) who was celebrating her birthday. We all sang happy birthday and cupcakes were passed out on stage. They then played 2 songs, ending with the classic “Manic Monday”. The night was reall special, and I like to think the LA show had some extra special features 🙂