Live review: Jim Gaffigan, Uptown Amphitheatre (8/15/2015)

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Jim Gaffigan
Uptown Amphitheatre
Aug. 15, 2015

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Shortly before showtime, as a long line of people was still filing into the Uptown Amphitheatre, dark, ominous clouds rolled into Charlotte and drenched the area. While it might have delayed the start of Saturday night's Jim Gaffigan performance by roughly an hour, it did little to dampen the spirits of those who waited. The comic's set, which ran just over an hour in length, was definitely worth the wait. 

Having been familiar with Gaffigan through his standup routines, his appearances on CBS Sunday Morning, his books and The Jim Gaffigan Show, I had a good idea what to expect — profanity-free humor that would touch on life in general. And the laughs rarely let down.

From an opening bit about the pointless activity of hiking — "Let's see what life was like before they invented the wheel" — to the inability to slam down a cell phone to hang up when you're upset, the 49-year-old comedian's transitions from subject to subject were fairly seamless. 

He cracked jokes about people with pickup trucks who rarely seem to pick stuff up, dealing with the TSA at airports, the difficulties of being the pope and why fish is a disgusting food.

Sure, he did a tired joke about his kids' summer vacation and ISIS that he's told on every late night show and Sunday Morning; and claiming he stopped the rain in his introduction — when it was still raining — fell a bit flat, but the majority of it was continuously entertaining. He also shared his thoughts on roller coasters — "We don't want to die, but we sure love feeling like we're about to."

When he began his closing chat about Hot Pockets, I feared for another retread, but was glad he included plenty of updated material. Leaving the audience laughing as he walked off stage. 

I wondered about the dynamics of seeing a comedian in an outdoor setting usually reserved for concerts, but it worked. The somewhat soggy crowd remained seated, attentive and didn't seem to mind the light rain one bit. I guess humor is not only good medicine, but a decent umbrella, too.


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