By Chuck Cox
As he mentioned during his two-hour show at House of Blues on Thursday night, it had been entirely too long since the last time Stephen Lynch played in Dallas. In fact, it was almost four years ago to the day since he had a gig at the Majestic Theater.
That 2009 show was the first time I got to see the hilarious signing comedian play live. Mixing an incredible voice with an incredible amount of NSFW lyrics, Lynch has carved a niche for himself as a guy who can just about bring tears to your eyes with his clever comedy, while you marvel at his pipes along the way. And if you think he can’t be that great of a singer if he’s a comedian, you should know he was nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway performance as Robbie Hart in “The Wedding Singer.”
With five studio albums to his credit, including his most recent, Lion, Lynch has a wealth of a catalogue from which to chose material from. He opted to spend the first 15 minutes of his show doing bits and pieces of Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Styx songs and a couple of his tunes — “Lorelei” and “Tattoo.” But it was clear from the beginning of the show he was having a blast doing what he loves.
Lynch was joined by Rod Cone, Charlie “Hobo Chuck” King, and the lovely Courtney Jaye, who sings on several of the tunes on Lion, most of the night. King even did a very disturbing and funny song of his own while Lynch “went to pee.” Jaye’s voice is also masterful, and she and Lynch sound like they were made to sing with one another.
The set list was a really nice mix of songs, including crowd favorites “Vanilla Ice Cream,” “Craig,” “Beelz,” “Crazy Peanuts,” and “Fishin’ Hole.” Those songs had the entusiastic crowd signing along and moving in its seats. Lynch is also a strong improv comic, so he threw in a lot of funny bits in between — and sometimes during — songs all night. He also three in three of his short “Diary” songs.
All four of the performers stuck around after the show to take pictures and sign autographs, which was really cool. That doesn’t happen too often at House of Blues. And there were chairs on the floor for the show, which is also a rarity at HOB. My buddy Chris and I upgraded from our standing room only general admission tickets to balcony seats for $5, which was nice. Lycnh also didn’t have an opening act, so even after waiting around to meet him, we still got out at a respectable hour.
If you don’t know Lynch’s stuff, and you are not easily offended, you should check him out. He’s an immensely talented guy. Hopefully, he won’t take four more years to come back to Dallas.
I’m going to San Antonio this weekend to catch a couple of Rangers games and the Spurs-Heat on Sunday. I’m also going to see Soul Asylum on Saturday night. I’ll let you guys know how that went.