There’s a Party in Eugene!
Yo Gabba Gabba comes to town
by Andrew Hitz
Personally, I find it frightening to see a mustached Jack Black tooting around on a flying motorcycle with the robots of Gabbaland, entertaining small children. But it’s also effing hilarious. The creators of Yo Gabba Gabba!, Christian Jacobs (lead singer of superhero band the Aquabats) and Scott Shultz, are really just a pair of cool dads who got fed up with crappy kids’ TV and had some zany ideas of their own.
Whiz kid DJ Lance Rock (real name Lance Robertson), the trippy looking dude in the orange unitard who takes us on epic Gabbaland adventures, originally met up with Jacobs to play music. A few years later when Jacobs and Shultz embarked on their Gabba project, they remembered this eccentric fellow and cast him as the host/tour guide. Lance shuttles his cast of colorful robots and guests around Gabbaland, singing songs and teaching valuable lessons to children. Jacobs and Shultz have enlisted the help of bands and musicians like I’m From Barcelona, The Shins, Weird Al and Sean Kingston and celebrities ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Tony Hawk to instill their message of hooky, kooky, weirdness. Former comedic rap artist Biz Markie even has a reoccurring beatboxing segment on the show, Biz’s Beat of the Day.
There are those kids’ shows that like to reinforce that you’re here watching this show with your kid. They let you know by dropping a drably guised “adult joke” here and there that’ll fly over the little ones’ heads. There are tolerable children’s shows that incorporate hints of irony and political commentary — classic cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Tom and Jerry, etc. come to mind. And then there are the wildly entertaining, psychedelic inspired, postmodern kids’ shows that have you zoning in front of the TV uttering awe-inspired “Whoooaaa, duuude”s. Meanwhile, your child is learning about chill concepts like inclusion, music appreciation, celebrating diverse friends and eating vegetables. Live performances of YGG! have included performances by Biz, Sarah Silverman, Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, the Aquabats, Erykah Badu and Devendra Banhart, among other notables. There’s a party in Eugene. It’s for the young folks and the old folks, and it’s going to be epic.
Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! feat. Biz Markie & Keller Williams. 7 pm Monday, Nov. 15, Hult Center • $20-$35 adv., $23-$38 door