Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Seminole Hard Rock, Hollywood
Better Than: CB4, Head of State, and I Think I Love My Wife combined.
A friendly note to anyone planning to attend an event at the Seminole Hard Rock – get there as early as you can. And after the show, plan to hang out for over an hour before you hit the parking lot and try to leave. Repeated visits to the venue will teach you that insane traffic and rude, I-will-cut-you-off-and-give-you-the-finger drivers seem to make up a hefty portion of the clientele – all of this with nary a traffic cop in sight. We drove smack into Hard Rock traffic at 7:30, and didn’t even actually drive into the parking garage until a full hour later. Chris Rock was scheduled to begin at 8. Our fingers were crossed for an opening act, and thank the Lord, there was one. We were definitely not the only ones who completely missed the warm-up performance.
Chris Rock took the stage to a blaring Lil’ Wayne soundtrack, and strode out onto the bare stage like he owned the place. He was in a take-no-prisoners mood, and he came out of the gate with a barrage of political jokes. On Hillary Clinton’s failed bid, he quipped – “I’m sorry, let me get this straight… she was gonna work in the same office that her husband got blowjobs in? There ain’t no redecorating in the world that can make that go away! She could make the Oval Office the Rectangle Office, and that still won’t change a thing.” He softened his John McCain jokes with an apology to South Florida, “the old people capital of America,” but then proceeded to eviscerate the 72-year-old candidate with age jokes -- “I don’t need a president with a bucket list!” Even Rock’s candidate of choice, Barack Obama, got some of his trademark barbs – “white people are like, he seems nice… but this could be payback!”
Jokes about Reverend Wright brought the LOLs from the crowd: “A 75 year old black man who hates white people. Is there another kind? I haven’t met him yet!” – but Rock’s riffs on Michelle Obama were met with muted giggles, and the row of black women who sat behind this reviewer went noticeably silent during Rock’s “Obama needs to get himself a white girl” bit. But Rock didn’t give a damn. He took it there – blasting America’s ongoing athletic witch hunt – “Do you realize Marion Jones is in jail? Don’t you feel safe?”
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He made jokes about his New Jack City co-star Wesley Snipes going to prison, sang an extemporized spiritual about Anna Nicole Smith’s “sloppy titties” within eyeshot of the very hotel where she died, and shared his conspiracy theory about Osama Bin Laden: “I don’t believe he exists. Think about it -- A 7 foot diabetic Muslim who lives in a cave with no electricity… but his camcorder is always charged up. That motherfucker makes more movies than me!” The audience was eating out of his hand.
Towards the end of the show, even Rock declared, “This is a good night!” while flashing that trademark, shit eating grin. He was met with spontaneous, lusty applause. Dude gave his all, then walked off stage to the boom of Lil’ Wayne’s “Duffle Bag Boy.” Seeing Chris Rock live was just like watching one of his best HBO specials – Bring the Pain, Bigger and Blacker, take your pick – but even funnier. Seeing his facial contortions and hearing him deliver his n-bomb, expletive-laced jokes in person, was well worth all of the traffic.