Live review: "Unwigged and Unplugged" @ the Paramount Theatre - Reverb - Reverb

Live review: "Unwigged and Unplugged" @ the Paramount Theatre

IMG 4036
The men behind the wigs — from left to right, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest — played to die-hard “Spinal Tap” fans at the Paramount Theatre on Wednesday. Photos by Joe McCabe.

I liked “Spinal Tap” a lot. (Seen it five or six times.) And I thought “A Mighty Wind” was pretty funny. (Seen it once.) But do I like either of those films enough to truly enjoy “Unwigged and Unplugged,” an acoustic show featuring Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest — the actors and writers behind the films?

Not really.

At the musicians’ show on Wednesday at the Paramount, the die-hards came out and sang along, quoted the movie and dropped every “Spinal Tap” reference possible. They even had the opportunity to ask the actors questions during a Q&A segment, although given the ridiculous level of fandom at the show, the quality of questions was poor.

IMG 4041

But while the men worked their tails off on stage, playing an impressive assortment of instruments, I failed to see the draw of hearing many of these songs acoustic — save for the Folksmen stuff. Hearing “Stonehenge” or “Bitch School” on acoustic instruments was anti-climactic.

And granted, Shearer, McKean and Guest couldn’t have been more clear about the intentions of this tour. Unwigged. No costumes. Unplugged. No electric guitars. But something inside me thought the songs would transcend the instrumentation and shtick. But sadly I was wrong.

None of this takes away from the group’s genius. The show made me want to watch “Spinal Tap” again — just to remember that defining moment made up of electricity, volume and ridiculousness.

Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post. He is also the executive director of the Underground Music Showcase, Colorado’s premier festival of local music. Follow his whimsies at Twitter, his live music habit at Gigbot and his iTunes addictions at Last.fm.

Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.

MORE PHOTOS:

IMG 4042

IMG 4047

IMG 4065

IMG 4070 1

IMG 4074 1

IMG 4076 1

Categories: REVERB
  • Jaime

    Were there many people there? I sorta wanted to go but thought it would sell out so I didn’t bother…

  • Ricardo Baca

    It definitely didn’t sell out. There was plenty of room to move around.

  • Goldirocks

    Regardless of this review, I’d say that the show was worth it to recognize the level of musicianship that these three funny men have achieved.

  • Dennis

    I thought the show was great. These guys are comedic geniuses and I didn’t realize how good musicians they are. It wasn’t sold out, but there was still a good turnout. I agree the audience questions were pretty lame.