Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1

Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1

by 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 seems thoroughly unprepared to digest his scathing (and yet hilarious) opinions and social commentary. Never one to back down, Hicks decides to really let it fly, playing for well over an hour and using every trick in his repertoire to slowly rope the crowd in. In some ways, it's hard to blame the audience for their initial reaction -- although Hicks died in 1994, his comedy still sounds far ahead of its time even heard a decade later. Hicks himself even seems to realize this, at one point telling the audience, "I stand alone with these theories; you know how lonely it is being me?" Later in the evening, he impersonates the crowd's languid response towards his humor by asking himself, "Why do you have to try and change people's minds and beliefs? They don't want to stand out; they want to be in the crowd. They don't want to have beliefs. They don't want to rock the boat. They just want to hear dick jokes and go home." And although Hicks does occasionally throw the audience a bone with brief descents into prurient humor, he holds fast to his own muse, focusing mostly on philosophical terrain that lesser comedians would fear to tread. As the first in an anticipated series of complete Bill Hicks performances to be released by Rykodisc, Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1 is a wonderful testament to the brilliance of one of the great liberal thinkers and comedic minds of the last 20 years.

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3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago