First off, I’m sorry if the dates I posted for the Oddball Festival aren’t synching up with the tickets going on sale or if the dates are being moved. It’s not on me. I got the dates, now it’s out of my hands. Check my calendar for updates. I know I am coming to the cities listed. I appreciate all of you who thought I was doing an amphitheater tour and were a little concerned. Nope, it’s a festival. I’m not U2.
I love Chicago. I always have great shows there. I want to thank everyone who came out to The AV Club’s 1stAnnual 26th Annual Comedy Festival. It was a great show. I didn’t know it would be so good. I never know. I choose to always think everything is going to be a struggle and frankly I’m tired of it. I don’t know if I can explain the panic I put myself through before a big show. Cycles. I’m tired of the cycles. I’d like to think I am on the precipice of being content or at least confident enough at this point not to act like I have no idea how to do standup the day before a big show.
I realized something in Chicago though. A big show is different from a little show in one way only--the size of the room. I am always the same size. I don’t need to think I need to get as big as the room. The room has to adapt to my size. I made myself crazy: My new hour isn’t tight enough, I brought the wrong shirt, I drank too much coffee, I shouldn’t have napped, I have to pee, I don’t know which stuff to do, I’m going to be disjointed, I’m going to be defensive, I’m going to be disappointing, I’m not really that funny, I’m due for a bomb. The morning of the show I could feel my entire being shouldering itself for a mediocre show. Some part of me thought there was no way it wasn’t going to happen. Some part of me was trying to defeat me to protect myself against disappointment and level fear. I never saw it so clearly. I never really understand that I have been on stage for more than half my life. I just have to be present and the rest will come. Something will come.
I got on stage in front of a sold out crowd and wrestled myself into the present and had a great show. That’s what I do. I wrestle myself into the present and then wrestle my heart to open - that’s the show. Things happened that will never happen again and that’s what a good show should do. That’s what I think it should do. Structure and polish is overrated. I like making something happen. Something did. Thanks for coming out, Chicago.
I actually couldn’t be more excited about today’s guest, Billy Gibbons. I don’t know what your life was like but I grew up with old ZZ Top on the radio, the pre-beard stuff, the good stuff. I loved talking to Billy. He’s the real deal. I had no idea that he was going to show up with this strange little cigar box resonator guitar and do a rendition of Billy the Kid off of Ry Cooder’s version of the traditional tune. Astounding to be sitting there for it. Happy to share it with y’all. As a counter balance to Billy, Josh Groban talks to me on Thursday. I knew nothing about his world of music but he lays it out for me and he’s a good egg. Great story, too.