Concert Review: Sirk and The Dirty Minds

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that American Idol and associated products are not-so-slowly pushing me closer to the edge of insanity. When I heard that Kris Allen’s LA County Spring Fair show was canceled, I was mildly curious. When I heard that he was replacing it with another show in LA, I was intrigued. When I heard he was playing the Viper Room, I found myself on a three hundred mile flight and questioning when everything in my life had gone so drastically downhill. (It was sometime after Season Eight’s Idol Live tour which was some twenty minutes away from me and I couldn’t be bothered to attend but clearly before I was waiting in line in Fresno of all places in triple digit heat to see Miley Cyrus’s ex-boyfriend’s lace-up pants. Come to think of it, you know what happened between these events? Season Nine. I’m going to blame Season Nine. Damn you, Lee DeWyze.)

This means I was at Kris’s concert on Sunday night. Sadly, I was not there five hours early suffering through all the glorious underground/hipster/indie etc. bands that performed, so I do not have anything to say about any of the other bands. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I was there for like fifteen minutes of the act that preceded Sirk’s. It was just a mess of super low douche V-necks and skinny jeans delivered through a megaphone attached to the mic stand. Basically, it was the best thing to happen to my life. (I don’t know if you could tell this from my unhealthy attachment to American Idol, but my tastes tend to run mainstream. Just kind of.)

The reason the Viper Room got me to head down to LA is that it is a very small venue. Like, it’s tiny. You walk in the front door and you’re already on your way out the back. The stage is the size of a bathtub. I’m still not sure how they managed to fit five guys and their instruments on that thing – like that was some crazy Potteresque magic they had going on there. [Insert Kris-is-short joke here.] It was totally hilarious to see them all attempt to work the stage normally; it was like throwing Taz into the zoo: thoroughly energized with a hint of confusion. I mean, Cale would stand up on the edge of the stage and I was sure he was going to crack his head against the low-hanging speaker. So yeah. Small stage. Small venue. Sort of awesome ingredients for an epic concert experience.

There was definitely a little rust to shake off in the beginning. Not to say they sounded bad or were out of sync, but, y’know, sometimes pesky things like lyrics got thrown by the wayside. Unless of course the new and improved lyrics to “Written All Over My Face” are “and I’m not one of your girlfriends who’s gonna be up on your side / what you lay on the debut I’m tuning up your mind.” Also! There was smoke! Which made it infinitely more produced than any of Kris’s performances on Idol. They were really funneling the stuff on to the stage, though. It was a little odd. Like, how much fog do they really need? Are they sending some sort of subliminal message? The world may never know.

I’m going to save everyone the trouble of having to scroll too much (more) through this recap and I’m not going to go over every song because I’ve done that a million times, even if I totally could still fill tomes with adverb-laden hyperbole on the subject. The guitar solos were awesome, Kris’s vocals were on point, the energy was high, the band was tight and the banter was markedly Kris: a little meandering, a little confusing but mostly ridiculous in the best way possible. At one point, he accepted a drink from someone in the crowd and shopped it around the band until Andrew caved in to peer pressure and drank it. That DeRoberts, what a champ.

There are two songs I need to talk about though because I can’t not wax poetic about seeing Allen-originals for the first time. So yeah, here goes. Kris performed “Leave You Alone,” a song he wrote with Cale and debuted at some point last year. I’m pretty sure this was only the second time he’s performed it, so I felt a little ridiculous knowing all the words already. (No, no, I will not share with you what my playcount on the live MP3 of that song is.) “Leave You Alone” is perfectly dramatic and rocking for a live show. It’s comes complete with a healthy dose of angst-ridden blues and a dollop of defiance. Basically, it’s the “Sandcastles In The Sand” to Is It Over’s “Slap Bet.” Just because I’ve already seen an episode about digging into Robin’s past that results in the ultimate pay-off of a sensational 80’s-styled music video starring Robin Sparkles doesn’t mean I don’t love it the second time. And while “Sandcastles In The Sand” might not be any better than “Slap Bet,” I liked it more at one point because it was fresher. I mean, who wasn’t a little bit in love with a balding, overweight James Van Der Beek? If you haven’t followed any of this then I’m sorry. (Not sorry for including it, I’m sorry that your life has been so empty up until now. How I Met Your Mother is legitimate comedy genius and Robin Sparkles is the alter-ego I’ve always wished for.) The point of all that being that I love “Leave You Alone” right now and its fantastic hold over my brain has only increased from seeing it live.

The other new Kris(+band)-penned song was an untitled ditty which will from here on be known as “Keep That Devil Out.” (It was either that or “The Memphis Barbecue Song.”) Now, Kris introduced the song by saying it was “kind of a joke but kind of not” and that was probably the best preparation for the song one could give. The song and performance came across as the most jarringly authentic parody of an old-school rockabilly jam ever. Everything about it was so overly enthusiastic that it reached back around to the point of sincerity. My initial shock of hearing something new and original morphed into joy from the absurd entertainment value and sheer fun of the song which was momentarily replaced by the horror of “oh good lord, the punchline hasn’t come yet. Please tell me there’s a punchline. Every joke has a punchline. I need the punchline” but gave way to the ridiculousness of it all. I mean, it stood head-and-shoulders above everything else as the most ridiculous moment of the night. And this was a night which included me ludicrously spitting the phrase “I skip a beat when I see her on the street and at school on the playground,” coming across the terrifying knowledge that people still care about Nicole Richie and witnessing a man sell a taser, cigarettes and his own CD out of a briefcase.

Really though, the song was too good. It was a legitimate song. I could imagine hearing it at some point in my life and not breaking down from laughter. It wouldn’t be a crime against the world of music if it were to end up on an album at some point. (Unlike, say, “Friday.” I’m certain the mass distribution of that song breaks the Geneva Convention.) But please, for the love of god, do not end up on a Kris Allen album. I’ve already had a crisis of faith when Alicia Keys decided it’d be a good idea to put John Mayer on her album, don’t make me go through it all over again. (I’ve forgiven her because “Lesson Learned” really is amazing.) “Keep That Devil Out” has a perfect soul-crushing country sensibility and a catchy refrain that can defeat even the most steadfastly opposed mind. It has silly simple lyrics (approximately transcribed below) – I mean, even I can’t deny the perfection of Kris’s delivery of “searching for some Jesus.” (That said, Memphis barbecue is so inferior to North Carolina barbecue that it’s not even a contest. Don’t get me wrong, I love a smoky dry rub just as much as the next guy, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the divinity that is the vinegary North Carolina pulled pork sandwich.) It’s the most completely entertaining four minutes of his set, though, so it can stay there forever. Ridiculous. Ridiculously fun.

So yeah, I loved the concert and I’m glad I lost my mind some months ago. Insanity is fun, y’all should join me.

Setlist
Can’t Stay Away
Written All Over My Face
Is It Over
Red Guitar
Everybody Wants To Rule The World/The Way You Make Me Feel mashup
Send Me All Your Angels
“Keep That Devil Out” aka “The Memphis Barbecue Song” aka “Keep Far Away From The Album”
Stuck In A Moment
Leave You Alone
Alright With Me
Live Like We’re Dying
Come Together

“Keep That Devil Out” lyrics
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Dude ain’t got no business being ’round
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Tell all of your friends around this town
To shut that door and keep that devil out

I went down to Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Looking for some barbecue
With that devil chasing me
I ain’t going down
Ain’t no way I’m going down
Cause he may got the world all on his train
But he ain’t getting me

Shut that door and keep that devil out
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Dude ain’t got no business being ’round
So shut that door and keep that devil out
Tell all of your friends around this town
To shut that door and keep that devil out

I went down to New Orleans
Wearing Sunday best
Searching for some Jesus
Found a devil in that blue dress
I ain’t going down
Ain’t no way I’m going down
Cause he may got the world all on his train
But he ain’t getting me

Shut that door and keep that devil out
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Dude ain’t got no business being ’round
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Tell all of your friends around this town
To shut that door and keep that devil out

Do do do do do do do do do do (x morethanIcaretocount)

Shut that door and keep that devil out
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Dude ain’t got no business being ’round
Shut that door and keep that devil out
Tell all of your friends around this town
To shut that door and keep that devil out

Tell all of your friends around this town
Shut that door and keep that devil out

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5 Responses to “Concert Review: Sirk and The Dirty Minds”


  1. 1 Shosh April 19, 2011 at 12:42 am

    We could OF had it ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLl. Rolling in the DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

    So much fun yesterday, being insane right along with you!

  2. 2 April April 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

    If I couldn’t be there, this was the next best thing.

  3. 3 Lori April 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Funny re-cap like always. The new song is so awesome and catchy I can’t quit listening to it. I bet it was so great hearing it live. Hope I get a chance one day. Glad you went and got to have so much fun.

  4. 4 Nekola April 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Loved your review! Very funny and insightful. Totally agree about North Carolina barbecue. :)

  5. 5 madeleine April 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Awesome revire of an awesome show!
    Thanks for the write up, it was really entertaining :)
    Totally agree with you on ‘shut the door’


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