Chris Rocks Total Blackout review blistering start to a new world tour

More than joke machine, Oscar host, even talking zebra, this standup legend is one of his generations most incendiary speakers

Chris Rock may need no introduction but apparently he still fancies a warm-up.

The evening before his performance in front of 8, 000 people at the Perth Arena, where tickets ranged from $95 to $145( not including the dreaded booking fee ), the American comic swung by a local tavern, the Charles hotel, to do a astound set at their $20 slapstick night.

By all reports the 150 people in attendance, awash in tears of laugh, got something close to a religious experience but its testament to his talents that the Perth Arena attendees got their moneys worth too.

Total Blackout marks Rocks first major world tour in nine years and in Western Australia, the first place hes performed it outside of the US and Canada, it begins with a question local audiences often hear from visiting artists: What the fucking am I doing in Perth?

The legendary stand-up clarifies: the only reason hes beginning the world part of his world tour here is because it is the farthest away. Well take it.

Anyone hoping Rock will instantly ingratiate himself to Australians with narratives of Vegemite and koalas will be disillusioned; instead, Rock instantly tackles the largely white audience with Australias cruel treatment of its Indigenous people, telling the Aboriginals in the audience that they are safe, with a caveat tonight.

At days unsure if they are allowed to laugh, the crowd is reminded that Rock is not simply a gag machine or standout Oscar host( or even a talking zebra ); rather, hes one of the most incendiary speakers of his generation. And in the wake of Donald Trumps election; the frequent shootings of young black humen in his home country; and his own messy divorce from his wife of 16 years, Malaak Compton, Rock has plenty to speak about.

When the chuckles are muted it seems to be of his own devising, as he plunges deeper into his failings as a spouse, his protracted custody combat and his fears as a black parent raising black children in the world of the white man.

( The audience, he insures us, arent that kind of white man; we are at least helping to pay his daughters style through private school .)

Rock expends the grand majority of his reveal focusing on the dissolution of his wedding, sharing with the audience the circumstances of his and Comptons separation( for which he accepts the blamed, reciting the number of affairs he committed during their years together ). At one point, he earnestly passes along advice to those in relationships on how to succeed where he did not. And then, with our guard lowered, he offers a riotous and detailed summing-up of his new sexuality life, and its updated complications.

Rock knows his fans are there to receive some carnal, dirty delights; he uses them as cover to brilliantly smuggle in his more pointed, insightful and occasionally moving observations.

Not that his routines will be repeated here in detail: all phones at the event “mustve been” shawl inside impenetrable locked pouches, to keep from any recording or photography. He has a $40 m reason to want to stop the prove from leaking.

But those with tickets to his remaining tour stops can look forward to Rocks updated take on firearm violence in America, as well as what he calls the new Jim crow: his argument that black people, once omitted through segregation with explicit storefront signs, are now kept away from certain, white-frequented stores through increased costs, and$ 7 oranges.( Both are hilarious riffs on one of his most ingenious bits on gun control .)

Audiences will also insure Chris Rock do Chris Rock. In his more recent movie roles( Top Five, 2 Days in New York ), hes played a more muted variation of his persona; in the flesh he bristles with energy, enthusiastically repeating his setups as he delivers punchline after punchline. The Total Blackout tour delivers the Chris Rock you always hoped youd find live.

In front of a video screen projecting 24 giant Fender amplifiers, his status as a literal rock starring is affirmed by his command of the stage, his gift for insight and emphasis, and his craft. Rock remains one of the best to ever do it.

Chris Rock is in Melbourne on 26& 28 June, and in Sydney on 28 and 29 June, before touring New Zealand and the UK

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