FFF Fest review: Craig Robinson
By Ramon Ramirez
Editor’s note: This article was originally published November 9, 2013
Doug Benson had previously killed it, riffing on Williamson County and Tito’s vodka like, well, a dude that enjoys hanging out in Austin a bunch. Between, the “sweat lodge” comedy tent showed mercy and opened a panel as seven-plus stage hands setup Craig Robinson’s back line.
Music from Baltimore art rockers Beach House played. This is an indie rock fest, after all. Robinson came fully loaded, including a keyboard player that was kind of a jerk to the area sound guy: “You can give me a little more mid in the keys,” the stage manager coldy ordered, “Yeah, that’s cool.”
The no-other-way setup time chewed into the tent’s otherwise effortless talent segues. The bill read 4:35 to 5:15 for Robinson, and the post-“Office” comedian strutted to the stage in a backpack and ADIDAS tracksuit at 5:07. Whatever, six-piece soul bands need time to breathe (and take pre-game selfies on-stage). “We’re gonna go back into the song,” Robinson, the former Chicago music teacher said as he gave cues, “But first I need to take my jacket off.” The now seven-piece band revealed T-shirts that read “Take Yo Panties Off!!!”
The show’s hook was crisp R&B and improvised lyrics about cameras and sex. “Can you make me look sexy up here tonight?” Robinson asked the lighting crew.
The saxophone sparkled like a romantic ballads compilation ad, and while there was nothing funny about an unprotected sax solo, it was still awesome. It was a free-flowing set where the Chicago-bred comic took a moment to compliment how organized bachelorette parties are, and how much the groom’s party sucks by comparison. “The bachelor parties are always so disorganized, someone wears shorts and you can’t get into the strip club.” Then he played the “Rocky” theme, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” a “Grease” standard and Gloria Gaynor. Best wedding band ever.