Review: Justin Vivian Bond

Justin Vivian Bond 2013

JVB is out to spread the love in v’s summer show and summer dress. Well, a combination of wryly cynical observations about love and heartfelt renditions of songs with love in the title, which range from Burt Bacharach and Todd Rundgren to The Cure and Kate Bush. V is also out to do some summer “camping” with the incredibly insightful thought that “Being campy is dangerous! Apparently people will kill you for being campy!”

Bond’s taste in songs is impeccable, and v approaches them with the touch of a very careful curator. A curator, that is, who finds what is most explosive in the art they’re presenting, and then promptly detonates it. V’s climactic rendition of Arcade Fire’s “Crown of Love”, for example, truly burns down the house.

One of the best features of all Bond’s shows is v’s acidly funny, stream of consciousness, between-song patter (which has had the downside of making certain shows marathon length, but not here). As I mentioned above, in this show Bond is focused on love – but always open to the wildest tangents. Bond’s sense of humor looks at society from a perspective that is simultaneously inside and outside, much like Genet and Joni Mitchell, heroes that I personally share with v.

As always Bond is hilariously entertaining, wildly imaginative and vividly expressive. And finally a show from v that leaves you wanting more, and adds some more uptempo arrangements to the ballads Bond favors. In some ways, this is my favorite show of v’s yet! Highly recommended!

For tickets, click here.

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