Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Heart of Darkness Summertime Forgiveness Tour. Here’s my review.

The first time I saw Greg Barris do comedy in front of an audience was about ten years ago, at an open mic session in a little bar attached to a hotel in Altamonte Springs. He was funny – Greg has always been funny – though his act was was merely in its infancy. In the years that followed, Greg’s show has evolved from a classic solo stand-up routine into a multi-faceted blitzkrieg of entertainment.

Greg is not a joke-teller per se, rather he has an uncanny ability to captivate the audience with his storytelling, into which he interjects humorous and devastatingly honest insights. There is also an audience participation aspect that adds an intimacy usually lacking in a stand-up comedy show. You’ll feel like you’re just having a beer with one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet.

Backing Greg onstage is The Forgiveness, a four-piece band that provides tight, professional level instrumentation to the songs Greg sprinkles throughout the performance. The music is upbeat and Greg sings about topics such as the quasi-deification of Tom Selleck, the importance of having a good time, and hitting the beach with the god of the Freemasons. All the while, you’ll waver between being impressed by the quality of the musicianship and laughing hysterically at the words and delivery by Greg. You can tell that this guy is giving his all to bring you the best performance he possibly can, and that kind of passionate energy is both endearing and inspiring.

After the comedy, I recommend sticking around for some soulful tunes by members of New Beard and Corrupt Autopilot, whose range of musical styles and influences reflect the variety of the comedy portion of the show.

The show continues its tour of Florida on August 24th in Boca and 25th in Tampa. It would behoove you to attend.

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