I went to see Bill Burr masterfully do his thing at the State Theater last night and decided immediately thereafter that he deserves the key to the city to make up for what the audience put him through.
It has been a very long time since I have been sober and seated in a giant room packed with incredibly drunk and high people, so it was equal parts terrifying, hilarious and entertaining. I hadn’t thought of this before, but I feel like standing with a bunch of partied out people feels like a normal occurrence, but being seated in a theater setting with 1,000 plus drunks creates an odd sensation. Let’s just say that had there been any sort of emergency situation in the middle of the show, we all would have had to reconcile the fact that most of those people weren’t going to make it out alive.
The crowd (think diehard Boondock Saints fans, weed and farts) was rowdy, which was to be expected, I suppose, considering it was the second of two shows that evening. The set that was added after the first sold out, so these were people who, like me, don’t have their shit together enough to buy tickets the first time they go on sale. There were several people passed out in the seats around us. Several. And throughout his hour plus set, Burr called out members of the audience for unruly behavior on 10 different occasions. He handled every texting audience member, every drunken howl, every heckle and interruption with the grace of a seasoned professional.
Onstage Burr acknowledged having no idea when the last time he was in last in Portland and I have a hard time believing that he is compelled to return, but who knows? He’s from Greater Boston, for God’s sake, so I am sure he’s used to a bunch of drunken assholes raising a little hell in a room. And rowdy hecklers high on booze and weed spend money and fill rooms at 11:00 to see a comedy show, and for that, at least, he appeared to be grateful.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Burr