Russell Brand at Just For Laughs, Chicago (Review)

CHICAGO — It was a curious choice for Russell Brand to enter the Just For Laughs headlining stage to the Oasis track “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” considering that the famously sober comedian imbibes in neither.

That said, his set was loaded to the gills with familiar stories of Brand’s pre-enlightenment indulgences, anecdotes of booze and birds (along with some high-minded social commentary) that anyone familiar with his Booky Wook series had long-since committed to memory. While this matched his soundtrack (which also included junkie heroes The Libertines and Buzzcocks) this was disappointing for a longtime fan with great expectations for some exciting new material. So maybe the Oasis song was, for me at least, an appropriate choice: “I went looking for some action, but all I found was cigarettes and alcohol.”

Russell Brand