You might think Dezrah the Strange, a magician, a strange opening act choice for Garbage. Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson describes their fans as “left of center” and in that view, Dezrah probably fits.
Recruited to open the Boston show (he’s a local act) Dezrah the Strange brought along his assistant Malice in Wonderland and performed a thirty minute bag of tricks that was uncomfortable from the first moment he stepped on stage to the last second. Some of it was decidedly not his fault and some of it, I think, was a case of poor planning. To the former, Dezrah’s first audience participant was a loudmouth, obnoxious gay man who offended even other gay men in the audience with embarrassingly explicit innuendo offered at shrieking volume through the mic. When Dezrah offered him a playing card, he stuffed it down his pants. Actually, that’s pretty much all you need to know about the first five minutes of the act.
After that introduction, Dezrah never really established a rapport with the audience. No amount of hammering a nail through his nose, or breaking a concrete slab on his chest while laying on a bed of nails could make the show more interesting. His best trick was to swallow twenty needles and then a piece of string only to pull them out of his mouth all tied together. The rest was nonsense and white noise. The other problem with the show may not have entirely apparent when he agreed to play at Paradise. The two biggest rah-rah stunts were performed on the ground. Even though the stage itself was elevated, Dezrah and Malice were so low to the ground that most of the audience couldn’t see them through the thick crowd of heads and bodies closest to the stage. Without any visual reference to what was happening on stage, it amounted to basically large chunks of time standing around looking anywhere else. By the time Dezrah correctly guessed the man’s card (he saved it for his finale) most of us were ready for him to disappear. That, at least, was something he performed skillfully.
I never thought I would review a magician on this website but there you go. Life is strange.