TOM GREEN with the KEEPING IT REAL CREW at the Opera House, January 27. Tickets: $24.50. Attendance: 450. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Despite the fact that he was touring to support his lame rap record, Prepare For Impact (Sony/BMG), no one really knew what to expect from Ottawa performance comedian, Hollywood spitback and former Mr. Barrymore Tom Green before his Opera House show last week.
On the one hand, dude made it to MTV on the strength of his outrageous antics and Andy Kaufman-like inscrutability. On the other, Green's Swiffered his act since coming home. He's hosted the Canadian Walk Of Fame gala twice, has a really harmless video aimed at junior-high kids on Much now, and his tour was tied in with Canadian politics channel CPAC in an effort to encourage voting, hence the Get Out And Vote T-shirt he wore, even days after the election.
The first half-hour was vintage Tom. Opening with his Keeping It Real Crew dressed in ex-presidents masks, he did weird tableaus over a driving electro beat before retreating backstage. Next, the audience was subjected to 20 minutes of loud rainstorm sounds on the P.A. while spotlights spun.
After a while, it looked like he wouldn't perform. People yelled, "Hurry up!" Others started leaving. Finally, his voice boomed over the stereo and he introduced his crew and himself before charging into the tracks off his album.
With his commanding stage presence and clearly Canadian voice, Green, 34, kicked strictly the most nursery of rhymes for the 19-plus crowd. Tracks like My Bum Is On Ya Lips (not to be confused with The Bum Bum Song), his current single, Teachers Suck, and Don't Mess With A Man (After He Takes A Big Poo Poo) were rocked under the influence. He spent plenty of time surfing a crowd that, while clearly made up of fans, was jaded and not exactly going apeshit over him.
"They want to see me fuck a moose or something...," he joked at one point to his drunken crew, which included DJ Cheeba , beatboxing a bit too often.
At one point he invited all the ladies onstage to dance, after which he suddenly switched to some lewd raps about how there are so many girls to choose from to have sex with - a played-out routine I've now seen done by the Beatnuts and Kool Keith.
He finished the show (and his whole tour) with a rousing rendition of his old-school Can-rap hit Check The O.R., and a very sarcastic "Toronto - best audience of the tour."