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Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review: Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band - Adelaide Festival Theatre (19.06.14)

Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band

If you don’t know who The Dan Band are, you’ve probably never seen the comedy works of Hollywood director Todd Phillips (think Old School, The Hangover and Starsky & Hutch) or more notably, the much loved foul-mouthed rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart during Old School that made Dan Finnerty famous.

The crowd in the Festival Theatre for The Dan Band is notably different to the usual Adelaide Cabaret Festival mob. A majority of the audience are under thirty, snapping shots furiously on their smart phones to post pre-show Instagram photos of themselves with beers in hand. It’s a refreshing change to a festival that mostly attracts mature, sophisticated theatre goers and believe me, there is nothing sophisticated to be found here. And it’s awesome.

The Dan Band are a trio of middle aged men who perform their own profanity injected versions of modern female pop songs, complete with bad-ass dance moves. What makes The Dan Band work is not only the fact that it’s bloody hilarious, but that these guys can actually really perform. The singing is of top quality and the fabulously choreographed dances are pulled off with expert skill. These men can bust a move, gyrating their pelvises and shaking their hips, giving any of their female counterparts a run for their money. Despite the intentional cheesiness of the choreography, it was genuinely impressive.

The songs are all fantastic, but it’s the in-between banter and audience interaction that takes the cake. Dan Finnerty is quick witted and on the ball, adlibbing all kinds of random nonsense that has the entire theatre in stitches. While it’s not fine-tuned comedy, it doesn’t matter. There’s something about this guy you could find funny even if he just sat on the stage in silence. With a room of fans hanging on to his every word, there really was nothing he could have said that wouldn’t have had the crowd in tears of laughter.

From hits by the likes of Beyoncé, Shakira, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Rhianna and Christina Aguilera, if nothing else The Dan Band provide an insight into how ridiculous and hypersexual the lyrics of modern female pop songs really are. Hearing such words as “lucky that my lips not only mumble, they spill kisses like a fountain, lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains” when coming from the mouth of a man in his late forties, dressed in a scrappy mechanics outfit while caressing his chest, makes you question everything about the modern music industry.

If you don’t like political incorrectness, sexually suggestive dance moves, or the word fuck, then don’t come within a hundred meters of The Dan Band. But if you live in the real world and don’t take things too seriously, then this will be an hour of uproarious entertainment that you will find yourself grinning about for weeks to come.