Pass the Cheese, please!

Yesterday was a cute date adventure that B and I dove right into. We went all out with dressing up and all that jazz. We rode down to San Diego to see Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine in the evening – but we wanted to go on an adventure first! So we stumbled upon a new Italian (The only way to eat) restaurant called Operacaffe. It was divine! We got there at happy hour so we indulged in quite a few glasses of wine for only $5 each. We split some Bruschetta and I ordered my go to Italian meal – a Caprese salad. We couldn’t pass dessert up despite having a stomach full of wine and food – so we got  ice cream to finish off the meal. It was all so yummy and we definitely will go there when we are downtown next – I strongly recommend you do the same! We then wandered off, somewhat buzzed, and watched Star Wars for the second time. We were one of three couples in the theater so it was nice not being with a humungous crowd of people. I got to see some things I missed the first time around when watching The Force Awakens. Now it was time for the highlight of the day – Richard Cheese!

So I’ve been a fan of Richard Cheese FOR. EVER. . I’ve been listening to him for years on years on years –  a decade sandwich with extra cheese if you will - and I always thought it would be a delight to see him live. For those of who haven’t heard of, or tasted, Richard Cheese – he’s the front man of the band Lounge Against the Machine. They play covers of songs in a jazz style and mix comedy into their act as well. They originate from Los Angeles and formed in 2000. It’s been about seven years since they have toured so when I saw Dick was coming to San Diego – I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity pass.  I love me some Dick Cheese.

There were no opening acts for Richard Cheese, which I thought was pretty badass. I have never been to a show without some sort of opening act to pump up a crowd. Richard doesn’t need to warm a crowd up because he is just that good! It was a two hour performance all together. Dick released a new album last month, Supermassive Black Tux – so a majority of the concert was Lounge playing new hits from Ke$ha to Silento. He was SO good in person! He not only sounded exactly like his recordings, but his energy and persona shined through on stage and brought out an even deeper love of Richard for me. My hopes were without a doubt met with flying colors – and tuxedos. Richard and the band interact with the audience during the entire set.  He went into the crowd several times and talked to audience members to incorporate them into a number  – even resulting in pulling a bootylicious fan on stage during “Baby Got Back”. It was so entertaining! Richard is clearly seasoned and KNOWS how to stir both a martini and a large group of peeps.

Richard’s humor is a nice, rich blend of sarcasm and deadpan comedy. He sometimes laughs at his own jokes too, which I typically find cheesy, but this Cheese can pull it off. Was that too punny? How can I not make jokes involving one of the most fantastic gifts to humans on the planet – CHEESE? In case you haven’t noticed yet, Richard’s stage name is “Richard Cheese”, aka “Dick Cheese”. His real name is Mark Jonathan Davis and the rest of the band members also have names revolving around tasty cheese: Bobby Ricotta, Laighton Millea, and Billy Bleu. There are some other rotating members of the band but those guys I listed are who were there last night on the West Coast.

This show passed by way too quickly. I was having the best time and didn’t want it to end. It was one of the times in my life that as it was happening, I thought, “Wow. I’m going to remember this forever.”  You have to have respect for Richard Cheese – even if you’re not a fan of cover bands. He is so stern with his few rules during shows: NO flash photography and NO interrupting the show are the two main guidelines he requires if you are going to watch him perform.  He also does not do any sort of interviews for blogs – I tried reaching out to him to interview him for all of ya’ll – he responded pretty promptly and politely said he absolutely never does interviews for blogs. He also told me to enjoy the show. At least I tried, right? Does that get me an award? Oh, wait. Yes, it does in 2016 when kids get gold medals for participating…..where’s my medal for trying? Anyway – the other two rules are pretty easy to abide by. He allows you to take videos/photographs just NO flash, assholes! I can only imagine how distracting that is with the already glaring lights on the stage. I can’t tell you how many people were called out by Richard and the security guards to turn off their damn flash. I like that Dick will directly yell at you in the middle of a song – it’s hilarious to say the least.

 Mr. Cheese is so committed to a polished show. He would have the band start the next song lined up, and announce, “Tux change!” and he would disappear for a moment to switch out his tux. He did this four times throughout the two hour performance. Ranging from a classic black tux, to one with martini glasses all over it, to his well-known leopard print tux – it was a joy watching him bolt off the stage and dash back on in a new outfit. During his set, Richard sipped on a trio of a martini, water and coffee -  a mixture asking for fire shits later on, but hey – that’s his life decision and it kept him buzzed, awake and hydrated. That’s kind of the smartest thing ever if you ask me.

                Richard played classic hits that you may recognize such as “Down With the Sickness” from Dawn of the Dead and he even did a rendition of the Spongebob Squarepants theme song. It doesn’t sound too impressive, I know, but he gave the audience bubbles and even had his own bubble gun weapon to make us feel like we were under the sea with that yellow sponge. His monotone singing of the song was cracking me up since the character Spongebob is so energetic / hyper.  I guess he was kind channeling his inner Squidward spirit animal – either way I was laughing like a seal (Really stupidly....to clarify) the entire time! I wasn’t even drunk guys! During the show he would give out free merchandise as well to the audience members that he either embarrassed or made fun of…or both. This show made me feel like every cent I spent on my ticket (A whole $20) was way beyond worth it. The new songs Lounge and Richard covered at this show are: “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd,  “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, “Shake It off” by Taylor Swift, “Supermassive Black Hole” by The Muse,  and “Hotline Bling” by Drake.

I have to tell anybody who read this far into my post about one of the strangest people I’ve come across recently at a show. He was uncomfortably close to me the whole concert – and was just bizarre. I don’t mean the “good” type of bizarre either – like that eccentric person you kind of want to get to know because there is a mysterious air around them. We’ve all had those moments. But this was BIZARRE, bizarre. This kid was probably nineteen and was wearing a suit. That’s pretty fitting for a Richard Cheese show, but he was spiritually interpretive dancing / moshing almost the whole time. You don’t mosh to Richard Cheese’s jazz covers – it simply looks so wrong. There wouldn’t even be music playing at some points and he would be stomping around whipping his head ferociously – he almost hit me on several occasions! He was for sure plastered so I tried to feel sympathetic because we all have been there, myself included. This kid had to have taken heaping amounts of ecstacy though. It was….uncomfortable for everyone surrounding him. It was so crowded though we couldn’t really leave unless we wanted to go outside the building. Richard (I think purposely) never came over to my area of the audience, despite me being in the second row, because of this disturbed individual! I didn’t let him ruin the show though – I did my best to just laugh it off. Listed below are some different locations you can discover even more Dick Cheese. Thanks so much for reading - remember to #staynerdy! I will see you lil pimples next week.

Richard's Home Page: http://www.richardcheese.com/rchome.html

2016 SHOW DATES:

01/29/2016 SAN DIEGO - HOUSE OF BLUES SOLD OUT!
02/05/2016 ORLANDO - HOUSE OF BLUES DISNEYWORLD
02/19/2016 ANAHEIM - HOUSE OF BLUES DISNEYLAND
03/25/2016 LAS VEGAS - SUNSET STATION CASINO
04/15/2016 PORTLAND OR - CRYSTAL BALLROOM

04/29/2016 BOULDER CO - BOULDER THEATER

MORE 2016 CITIES/DATES
WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richardcheese