Home / Concert Reviews / Sat. Nite Duets w/ Crappy Dracula @ Riverwest Public House
Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

Sat. Nite Duets w/ Crappy Dracula @ Riverwest Public House

Nov. 25, 2011

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Music and comedy mix well when executed correctly. Many talented comedians are able to utilize instruments in order to enhance their jokes, and, likewise, almost every band that's worth a listen isn't serious all the time. When comedy and music are performed poorly, however, the result can be disastrous, with melody acting as a crutch for lame jokes and bad puns. Friday night's lineup of Crappy Dracula and Sat. Nite Duets at the Riverwest Public House thankfully offered a dual pairing of the good kind of musical humor, a two-hour assortment of funny and loud.

"I should tell a joke," were the first words bass player and vocalist Dug Belan said as Crappy Dracula prepared to rip through its set of reckless, juvenile punk rock. The tongue-in-cheek remark—the band spent every break in action telling jokes—was a prelude to a dumb crack concerning factory work that wouldn't sound funny written here, but worked with Belan's waggish delivery. During their set, belly laughs were about as abundant as head bobs. Crappy Dracula didn't put on much of a rock show; it was more a two-person stand-up set spliced with a Blink-182 gig, except with fewer dick jokes and even fewer hooks.

A cover of Madison pre-teen punk-rock novelty Old Skull's "Pizza Man" arguably highlighted the night. Supposedly unrehearsed—although can you really trust guys this steeped in sarcasm?—it was nearly impossible to discern if the tune was intended as a gag or if the outfit truly found it endearing. In either case, angrily screeching about bullying a pizza worker to hand over a fresh pie loaded with toppings totally fit Crappy Dracula's style.

"Now, here's the real band," Belan said as Crappy Dracula filed off the stage. Devout Pavement disciples Sat. Nite Duets followed with less comic glitz but more musical chops. Although they might have acted more subdued than their predecessors, their set burst with palpable energy. Nothing caused more of a ruckus than set closer "All Nite Long," the quintessential slacker party jam, to which the crowd danced and sang along. Above all, though, Sat. Nite Duets provided effective smirks all night. With their laconic, witty wordplay and jocular stage presence, Sat. Nite Duets can keep you buoyant and amused, something Crappy Dracula succeeded with, as well, albeit in reverse order.