Amigo the DEVIL – Oct 31 Concert Review

Written By Timothy Voldemars Johnston

What a crazy show. Bizarre, moving, infuriating, hilarious, dark, hot as hell and wild. I’ve never been to a show quite like it. Let me go back to the beginning.

I got there almost an hour early. There was already a line outside Lee’s Palace, of maybe 50 people. It was spitting cold waves of light, almost mist-like rain. After what seemed like forever, now cold, wet and feeling like I might have made the wrong decision about coming out. he lineup, which was now significantly longer, finally started moving. It was a slow process, but I finally got in, after getting carded LOL!

I immediately go to the merch area and grab a CD from the opener, Willi Carlisle, who is
sitting at the desk (I didn’t recognize him in his Halloween costume, which was a demented looking Hobo clown), and then grabbed an Amigo the Devil CD.

The venue starts to really fill up at this point. I get to a spot I like, and the wait began. More and more people pack in. It’s an odd mix of people for sure. Lots of hipster types, some really normal-looking folks and a smattering of goths and metalheads. Some people are dressed up, but I’d say less than a quarter of the people there and I’m not dressed up either. Just didn’t feel it this year. For the first time ever. Whatever.

After an hour of standing there all wet and clammy Im beginning to getting really warmed up with the HUNDREDS of people who showed up for the show. I’m not pleased.

Finally, the lights go low and out comes Willi. Now, I didn’t know what to expect.
I had only heard his music for the first time the day of the show. Country with a dark edge, but still, very country, twang and all. I did however like what I had heard (which is why I got the cd). So, he comes out, dressed as the clown I had bought the CD from and it’s just him. Alone. His only instruments are a harmonica, a hand thingy, an acoustic guitar, an accordian and I believe a bango made an appearance at one point. Now, I’m not sure if it was just the heat, but both the musicians performing tonight totally reminded me of comedians I really like. Willi reminded me of the late great Chris Farley from SNL, if Chris was to do dark Country, lol. It was super fascinating to watch his mannerisms
and for whatever reason, it totally worked. Especially with him dressed as a clown. For the most part, I really enjoyed his set. A great mix of dark American folk tunes and older style dark country, mixed with lots of off-beat humor. Great voice. My only criticism was his bringing politics into it. I didn’t come to hear about someone’s politics. Regardless of whether I agree with them or not. This show in particular isn’t the place, and that bothered me. Still, overall, I was impressed. Lots of charisma.

Then it was Amigo’s turn. He had a whole band with him, and they were all dressed as demented, bloody, psychotic looking, nuns, and they were on fire! Going from heavy as Hell songs, to super depressing songs, to funny songs and back without any drop in energy at all. The banter in between songs was just perfectly off kilter and definitely lent to the authenticity of the performances.

Every member of the band played like they loved what they were doing, just totally into it. It’s really rare, to see a band enjoying themselves as much as the audience, but this was it. The demented sing-a-long parts were just amazing. The highlight being the sing-a-long of “Life’s just a Joke and Death is the punchline” which totally summed up the whole night and, again, not sure if this was just my overheated brain, but I swear Amigo live is like a mix of Carlos Mencia, Fluffy (Gabrial Iglesias) and Mitch Hedberg (three of my favorite comedians) if they performed dark as hell death folk/country music. He had jokes just like they would make (not rip offs of course, but ones that you could see all of them making) and the mannerisms were just all there. It was hilarious and totally worked with the music.

The only really dark part of their performance was when the singer was telling a super sad, emotional story of a friend’s untimely demise and a member of the audience started heckling him. Not sure of all the things said, but from what I heard, it was super disrespectful. I did hear him at one point yell “Thrash Metal” and “just play the song”…amongst some other things I won’t write. The audience turned on the guy really quick, lots of yelling and after Amigo just said screw it, didn’t finish the story and started playing and there was a bunch of yelling and shoving by the crazy guy and Amigo actually stopped the set and jumped into the audience to escort the crazy person out of the building. Once Amigo got back on stage, it took a bit for me to get into the show, as I was upset and felt embarrassed for him, like I felt really,
really bad for him, as his story was obviously very painful to recall, but the audience roared their appreciation with waves of applause and cheering that wouldn’t stop which turned the situation around and saved the show. Amigo rallied and put on an amazing performance right until the end. One show I will never forget. If you get a chance to see them live,
do it.

By Metal Lair

Propter Music Connoisseur, music for refined taste.

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