Festival supreme reigns

Event review


Jeffrey Davis, Photographer


Comedy conquered the third annual Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds at Festival Supreme on Oct. 10, curated by Tenacious D’s Jack Black and Kyle Gass.

Noting the absence of a great comedy festival in the talent-abundant city of Los Angeles, Black and Gass first hosted the festival on the Santa Monica Pier in 2013.

A returning attendee recalled “the first year [being] really, really claustrophobic, but last year was the first year here at the Shrine. I love the open space, [yet] everything’s close. It’s nice inside.”

This year’s Las Vegas themed venue was complete with overpriced cocktails named “The All In” and “Royal Flush,” along with a gluttonous amount of neon lights, red velvet carpets, lounge music and satin curtains. Tenacious D performed a jazz set with surprise guest singer Craig Ferguson, former host of The Late Late Show.

An Orange County resident observed it and said, “went a lot smoother this year than it did last year. I was able to see everyone I wanted to see. They got people on [four] different stages to control the crowd.”

Other musical guests included local San Diego band Rocket from the Crypt, The Darkness of “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” fame and South African rap-rave duo, Die Antwoord.

The musical performances shared comedic aspects, however, the varied music genres lacked cohesion.

The current comedy festival line-up reunited sketch-comedy pioneers Kids in the Hall and opened up the stage to TV favorites, Amy Poehler and Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreations), while also catering to the “alternative” crowd with stand-up acts such as Neil Hamburger, DJ Douggpound and Puddle’s Pity Party.

The Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds festival was a fun, lighthearted affair for self-aware, experimental stage-performers and audience members alike.