Photos by G.
Every time I see Joey Arias perform, it reassures me that I made the right decision to move to New York. We live in a world of cookie cutter entertainment these days, so when you have the chance to see a treasure like Joey Arias perform, it’s an opportunity that should not be squandered. I saw Joey Arias perform exactly one month ago to the day and in that time, Joey has learned a new show and took this particular show on a brief West Coast tour culminating in the final sold out date at Joe’s Pub on March 10, 2013. This show is entitled “Lightning Strikes” and is performed with singer/songwriter Kristian Hoffman who, along with Joey Arias, collaborated with Klaus Nomi.
In the nearly 2 hour show, Joey performed many of Klaus Nomi’s songs including the very hard to sing “Nomi Song,” “Simple Man,” “Total Eclipse” and “Lightning Strikes.” But it didn’t stop there, Joey also performed a new song called “Sex is Beautiful,” as well as dramatically different than the original interpretations of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?,” Cream’s “White Room” and “You’ve Changed,” where Joey channels the late great Billie Holiday to the point where if you closed your eyes, you’d think Billie was on the microphone singing.
The intimacy of Joey Arias’ performances make you think he was performing in your living room as he talks to the crowd and gets everyone involved whether you get flirted with or he walks through the audience and hands you the microphone to contribute background vocals. New York downtown scene royalty were in the audience last night including Penny Arcade, Isengart and promoter Earl Dax and all of us witnessed the funniest moment of the night when Joey Arias asked a quite young audience member how big his dick was. One thing lead to another and the next thing you knew, the young man was on stage and Joey dropped his pants to the ground, stuck his microphone inside the guy’s pants and finished off the song on his knees (see photo below).
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, performers like Joey Arias are a rare commodity these days and really need to be celebrated. There is no lip-synching. There is no pre-recorded music. The shows performed are not carbon copies of each other. Instead, what you get is pure entertainment where anything could happen (and it always does – just see above photo!) and it puts to shame so many alleged A-listers who don’t have a fraction of the talent that Joey Arias possesses. Joey mentioned that he’ll be back in May at Joe’s Pub so if you want to experience what “old New York in the modern world” is all about, you will not miss this show! Thanks again to Joey Arias and his band for another brilliant night!