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Reggie Watts Left the Neptune in Stark Wonder

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Reggie Watts concluded his most recent tour of the US with a show at the Neptune Theatre on June 4th.  It was a celebratory homecoming of sorts for Watts, who spent many years making music and comedy in Seattle before relocating to New York City. Many old friends were in the audience, and Watts took the time to give shout-outs and he let us know that he remembers this place well with a slew of Seattle inside references.

The Neptune was full, because Reggie Watts is awesome. In his most recent interview with CultureMob, Watts spoke of his relative pitch, which translates to his ability to self-harmonize on the fly. Discussing it with him is one thing, seeing it live is incredible. He has a rare gift.

We’re going with comedian as his label for what he is, but eccentric genius is closer to the mark. Somewhere in the middle of seeing him perform you forget that he’s making it all up as he goes along. His music is sometimes beautiful, and sometimes silly. (Often at the same time.) At the Neptune he moved from his keyboard to his sampler as it suited him, as the impromptu song called for it. He remixed himself live, displaying an expertise with his gear that was perhaps slightly less well-defined at his previous Neptune show in 2011. If anything, Reggie Watts is becoming more Reggie Watts. With his simple set-up on stage he has what is clearly a wonderful playground for himself.

When it’s not a song it’s a story, or a string of extemporaneous goofs that show all of the working gears in Watts’ mind. It’s pretty absurdist, with frank opinions occasionally thrown in. His comedy is unique, but it’s not revealing inner monsters or demons. It’s kind of beautiful and silly for the sake of beauty and silliness. Some comics are all about being raw and open on stage (e.g. Marc Maron, Greg FItzsimmons). Watts is more in the Steve Martin school. As an audience member you don’t feel like you’re getting a look into his life, but you love what he’s showing you.