Gallagher and Metallagher make for an unholy union at Station 4

Categories: Concert Review
Photos by Steve Cohen
When the show was announced, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for profound disaster: Prop-comedy hippie/conservative comedy "legend" Gallagher, on tour in Saint Paul, would be performing with local metal/comedy act Metallagher. Rumors swirled: would they perform together? (No.) Would the notoriously critical comedian and ruthlessly satirical band clash on stage? (No.) Would there be beer bongs? (No.) Who actually goes to a Gallagher show anymore? (A lot of people, apparently.)

Inside Station 4, the front of the show room had been blocked off for those who paid $20 for good seats, with a barricade keeping the standing crowd out. It was by the barricade that I first saw the man himself: no suspenders, no hat, no striped sweater, just a guy with graying long hair working the room in a pre-show meet and greet he'd done a thousand times before. After a few dozen photos he strode directly on stage, no costume change, and immediately launched into a set that somehow managed to be offensive, bitter, rambling, anachronistic, and self-parodying all at once.

Gays. Lesbians. Arabs. "China-people." Gang members. Celebrity "whores." Just a few targets of Gallagher's uniquely self-centered conservative view of social order. The crowd, an uncomfortable mix of dedicated fans, irony-seekers, punks, and metalheads, had an equally mixed reaction. There were plenty of people in hysterics and even a few cheering and clapping like they were at a Michelle Bachmann rally. Elsewhere, some folks weren't so impressed: boos, groans, and, at one point, a patron said, frustrated, "It's not fair that this guy outlived George Carlin."

Ultimately, though, the act was about smashing food, almost 90 minutes building up to that grand finale, all with a hint of tired cynicism. The denouement, however, best served those in the pricey seats; the rest of the room was so crowded that it was hard to see what Gallagher was doing, and it ended almost as quickly as it started.

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