So many acts to see, so much intricate planning!
I hope you’re ready to fly by the seat of your pants, because this festival has got a lot going on. There are so many great acts to choose from, but if you want to make the most of the fest, I’ve learned that your back up plans need back up plans.
Tip number 1: if you’re like I was, nervous and stressing about getting around big ol’ Toronto and its TTC, sticking to one venue for a night may be a good bet. Last night I hung out at The Garrison and I believe I won that bet. The evening started off at 7pm for the special free first show
Tip number 2: pay attention to the #JFL42 emails, because they are packed with good tips, surprise shows—sometimes free shows! —and as of this post, a bonus credit. I chose to go see Ivan Decker. The lovely and funny Amanda Brooke Perrin opened for Ivan, addressing her uncanny resemblances to cartoon characters from Daria to Gretchen Grundler from Recess, the latter of which is NOT a compliment, people.
Perrin also hilariously touched on Aritzia and its horribly overpriced clothing, going to a strip club with her brother (don’t worry Amanda, I totally get doing weird things in order to get one’s brother’s love and support), and terrible tattoos.
All of this culminated wonderfully in warming up what Perrin called a “small but mighty audience” for the headliner, Ivan Decker. Decker started his set by throwing candy and crackers from backstage to the audience, which is the best way to get to this girl’s heart (the candy, not the crackers). He then followed with some cracks on his hometown, Vancouver, and the city’s affinity for yoga. But rest assured, he got in a few digs about Toronto and its tiny TTC tokens (I will be careful not to breathe too deeply while handling them).
The set was light and full of relatable laughs, such as fast food restaurants and their sneaky ways of tricking customers into doing work for them. I was happy to note that more people filed in during the show because Ivan deserves a larger audience.
This leads me to…
Tip number 3: check out people whose names you’ve not heard of. There are many gems waiting to be more widely discovered, and…
Tip number 4: get to the shows early because your reservation does not guarantee you a seat if you’re late. Ivan Decker is performing again at The Garrison September 22nd and 28th at 9pm, and at The Drake September 24th at 11pm and the 27th at 7pm.
Next up for the night was the Daryn Jones Live show, also at The Garrison. This was also my first time using the barcode/credit system, which did not go as smoothly for me as it did for my fellow bloggers.
Tip number 5: don’t get trigger happy and try to check in before having your barcode scanned, because I did just that and then didn’t get my credit back right away. I did receive it before noon the next day, so I got a happy ending, but it wasn’t worth the stress of making the mistake in the first place.
The show started a tad late, but more or less around 9pm. As we waited, DJ Dopey played sweet tunes while the strobe lights did their thing and Derek the warm up comedian joked around with the audience and persuaded them to write down random questions for Jones and his special guest, Elisha Cuthbert!
The house was full, with quite a few people standing in the back (remember tip number 4?). Daryn Jones opened with a bit of stand-up which tickled the funny bone, but I have to admit I loved his riffing and back and forth with the audience best. The show is set up for play, from the Daryn Jones dancers, to the chill conversation and Q&A with Elisha Cuthbert, Jones was quick witted and on top of his game.
Cuthbert proved an entertaining and funny guest, as well as a great person to have on stage while the guest comedians performed. The first comedian up was Jean Paul with priceless stories of fighting over hypothetical questions with his wife and rap battling prayers at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.
Following that was Tim Steeves and his angry rant comical stylings, despite admittedly smoking a lot of pot. But I wouldn’t suggest that he try something else because what results are great jokes that got the crowd rolling with laughter, such as imagining what an old school war would look like now with all the allergy and ADD ridden kids.
When all was said and done, a winner was chosen at the end of the night to receive a Holiday Express prize of a one night stay anywhere in the world. Who was the winner? It was the lucky girl whose boyfriend asked if Daryn Jones would sleep with her during the Q&A period.
For good times such as these, the Daryn Jones Live show has different guests and comedians every performance: September 20th at 9pm at The Drake, the 24th at 7pm at The Drake, and the 26th at 7pm at The Garrison.
Check it out people, it’ll be worth your while.