The Axis of Awesome face a challenge. They are in the Pleasance Grand and that’s a lot of seats to fill. This is a challenge almost everyone performing in the Grand faces – but as the queue filed in I wondered how many of the audience knew the comedy musical troupe from their 4 chords viral and how many had discovered them by some other means.
As the gig started I was convinced the Australian comedy rock band had another internet smash hit on their hands. Beginning a gig with a geek friendly song about Game of Thrones is an attention winning idea. It should help fill those seats.
I loved the song but was worried about spoilers. I was safe, I’ve read the books, but I was with people who are discovering a Song of Fire and Ice via the TV series (tapping Sky Go for the first time to gain access to the Sky Atlantic channel to make that happen).
As it happens the song is pretty much spoiler free unless you’re super sensitive.
Also, as it happens, Cry Yourself a River is very much a show about spoilers. Anyone annoyed by the insights the Game of Thrones opening song might bring probably will not enjoy the DJ Spoiler act.
This is the first time I’ve been to an Axis of Awesome gig where spoilers are an issue. The band is worried, asking the audience not to over share videos or Facebook tag pictures. I thought that was clever, a whole show theme in the show devoted to building up a punchline that also happens to be a request from the band. It’s better than a dull old “no photography” sign, that maybe missed and deprives the audience from immortalising festival memories.
This gig is a mixture of comedy music and visual jokes. It is the visual jokes that the band is trying to protect. Fair enough, but its the music with pop and geek culture lyrics I want from the Axis of Awesome. That’s the important bit.
Some of the visual jokes range far and wide up the hit and miss scale. The Axis of Awesome trying to dance to Dubstep is very funny. I was less thrilled by choke wanking reenactments.
The band’s musical talent also have a considerable range. Cry Yourself a River has death metal, to rap and all the way to musical parable.
I couldn’t follow any of the rap. The lyrics are probably clever and funny because all the other songs are.
Overall I enjoyed this years set. In fact I enjoyed Cry Yourself a River more than their 2011 Edinburgh Fringe contribution.