Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1by Bill Hicks
If to be great is to be misunderstood, then Bill Hicks certainly must have had plenty of evenings such as the one documented on Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1 during his too-brief life. With track titles such as "Worst Audience Ever" and "Vs. the Audience" offering a hint of the material contained on this album, Hicks finds himself facing a Pittsburgh audience that/i>
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This is the Hicks you would have experienced if you went to a comedy club circa '90 or '91. I was lucky enough to see him, albeit only once, in person at around this time. For me, that¿s the seminal Hicks moment. The recorded works show him pretty much at ease, with friendly audiences and decent laughs. The show I saw was anything but - it was a battle from start to finish, Hicks alternately berating and attempting to win the crowd over. It was unlike any stand-up I had ever seen (or have seen since) because Hicks was so willing to bomb for the sake of his message. The CDs give the impression that Hicks was largely appreciated in the clubs, which somehow makes him seem less awesome. On this CD, it's clear that a)few people got him b)even fewer liked him and c)Hicks still did the same stuff, regardless. Much of the material on this CD is on his other albums, especially "Relentless", although the delivery here is often completely different. I don't know exactly where this show fits in relation to the taping sessions for "Relentless", but it's pretty clear that he was either developing the material for that album or was getting tired of it by this point. The highs, in strict terms of comedy material, are probably "Cause of sexual thought" and "Mechanics of pornography", which showcase the contrarian logic Hicks is known for. Both, as far as I can remember, are unique to this CD. However, the whole of the album is a highlight in terms of exposing the reality of Hicks¿ career, the negativity he faced 300 times per year and his dogged adherence to his purpose. I, though, am a hardcore fan. Those who aren¿t probably won't take to this CD because it isn't a comic at his best, with a receptive audience and tested, primed material. This is hardcore Hicks - not the best of the albums but maybe the most revealing.