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Arts and Entertainment

Neil Innes at the Egyptian 6/27/08

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(Written with Bob Thompson)

It was an intimate night of music and comedy as Neil Innes entertained an enthralled crowd in The Egyptian Theater on Friday night, the second of a two-night Innes-Fest at the Mods and Rockers Film Festival.

It was more like hanging out in the local pub than attending a rock concert. Switching from guitar to keyboard to ukelele to something resembling a zither, Innes kept stressing it was an "interactive" night, inviting friends like animator and webmaster Bonnie Rose and Emo Philips up on stage to accompany him. Ken Simpson and "Rutling Ken" Thornton, a pair of guitarists from the Midwest, made especially strong contributions, Thornton adding Harrison-esque leads to several of the most moving songs. Innes often relied upon the audience to provide background vocals, and the theater turned into one big, happy sing-along. Imagine being part of a huge theater crowd hollering along to songs like "Jollity Farm" and "The Bruces' Philosophers Song".