Entertainment

Brett Barest: This Isn’t Really A Music Column

Brett takes a break from music this week to look at a great Comedy Show coming this weekend to The Radio Room. Looking for this week’s Concert Calendar, head over here.


I have been watching a lot of standup comedy on Netflix and YouTube lately, usually after the family goes to bed at night. Historically, this time is usually spent in my office listening to music and/or scratching out some words to meet something resembling a deadline or even trying to polish some turd of an idea for something bigger. For whatever reason, though, the old bug of standup comedy has gotten a hold of me lately and there I sit, laughing like an idiot well past when I should have gone to sleep.

This recent streak started after I stumbled across Bill Hicks’ classic performance Relentless, which set me on a quest to consume every bit of recorded material the late, great cynical bastard ever produced. That led to me revisiting some old favorites like George Carlin and Mitch Hedberg, delving into new material by sickos like Doug Stanhope and Jim Norton, and eventually getting to know more modern comics like Tom Segura and Anthony Jeselnik. Heck, I have even gone back and rewatched the lone YouTube clip of my favorite comic you have never heard of, Jay Hastings, who has a great job and family here in Greenville, years after he tried to make it big in the comedy business.

I tell you all this to explain what happened Sunday afternoon at my remote office (AKA The Community Tap) when I was listening to bands visiting the Upstate in the week ahead for this very column. Sorting through the iOnGreenville Live Music Calendar,I would visit band’s websites, listen to a track or two, make some notes, and cruise on down the list until a particular artist grabbed me. What I did not expect to find was an artist who was not a musician or band but, rather, a standup comic performing at The Radio Room Saturday night.

I have to be honest – Dave Stone had me at “fat vegetarian”.

Reading Stone’s bio, I immediately realized that the path and measure of success of a musician and a comic are very different things. A band’s growth is easily measured as the shows, crowds, and stages get larger and larger, following a pretty straightforward trajectory, upward or otherwise. For a comic like Stone, however, success is harder to define as it can offer any number of different opportunities, all measurably different from the original talent – the standup act itself.

For Stone’s part, his television debut came in 2013 when he performed on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”. Since then he has done everything from appear on Last Comic Standing, the Travel Channel, and voicing characters on Adult Swim’s “Squidbillies”. Just to really mix it up, he also hosts two podcasts – one on paranormal activity and another on alt-country music. Like many comedians, it seems the standup stage is just the introduction for the world to say “Well, what else can you do?”

Dave Stone handles it all well along with maintaining a strong commitment to the thing that got him here – performing standup comedy in clubs across the US. An Atlanta guy who now resides in LA, Stone’s bits about overeating, being broke, and southern hospitality are all instantly relatable, not just as a resident of the Southeast, but of Earth in general. There is no sense of Hollywood celebrity in his presentation as he comes across as a working man’s comic, delivering his material to towns of all sizes across the country.

This Saturday, Stone’s current tour brings him to The Radio Room for an evening of comedy instead of the bands we are accustomed to seeing on that stage. It is nice to see another artistic medium on stage and it is a reminder that an evening of live comedy is as satisfying as seeing your next favorite band. It also prompted me to glance at the calendar of Downtown Greenville’s Comedy Zone as I need to remember to get out for a few more laughs in the future.

Greenville Scottish Games

Saturday also marks the return of the Greenville Scottish Games, an event which will indeed offer a heavy dose of live music, specifically in the pipe and drum variety. Feats of strength, men in kilts, and lots of music, singing, and dancing will highlight this annual celebration. Live music will be available all day in the entertainment tent, courtesy of the bands The Mighty Neds, Syr, and Albannach while the Pipe and Drum Competition will keep the competitive spirit of the games going into the evening.

Visit www.gallabrae.com for more information and to plan your day at the beautiful Furman University today.

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