Josh Earl & Daniel Tobias flawlessly lampoon festivals in 'Josh Earl's Festival'
Anyone that's seen Josh Earl live knows that he has a natural talent for the frustrated rant - his witty rapid-fire blasts, coupled and grounded with a friendly charm, have proven to be hilariously sharp. With Josh Earl's Festival, Earl has found a vehicle that suits his theatrical acid perfectly, by fleshing out his stand-up persona into a wild musical stage show performance with the very talented Daniel Tobias (of Die Roten Punkte).
A wonderful satire of the social and corporate demons tied to what are supposed to be the most enjoyable days of the year, Josh Earl plays the part of everyone who's ever had to endure the downsides of a music festival. He's got 20% battery left on his phone - the lifeline rapidly depleting with each unhelpful call his friends make as they aimlessly meander between a host of gimmicky DJs, incomprehensible folk singers and nostalgia-powered grunge acts from the 90s. Before the day's out, he'll deal with pretentious hipsters, meat-headed "patriots" and hour-long lines for beer in an epic quest to hopefully, potentially, actually catch up with his mates and see a band.
Earl treats the topic and audience with an utmost respect, as he fights his way through the relatable madness with an ever-expanding, perfectly-nuanced tension. He knows that you'll know what he's on about, flawlessly representing the thoughts and feelings of any given moment with a single exasperated exhale. Earl uses the playing field of the festival as an opportunity to not only address the often-clumsy construction of the events themselves but to unearth some hilarious social commentary tidbits on class and identity - how we all like to be entertained, but the strange mental gymnastics we require to satisfy our egos can often clash in weird ways. Has your band actually released an album? Man, you're such a sell-out.
Loaded with catchy and thought-provoking tunes, Josh Earl's Festival is a bitingly surreal caricature laced with both a cheeky cynicism and a genuine love for its subject matter.
By Jacob Colliver