NXNE Review: The Pizza Underground, June 20, Edward Day Gallery


Let me make one thing clear right off the bat: I mostly came for the free pizza.

In town for a few shows at NXNE, The Pizza Underground were playing their third set of the fest, a late morning/early afternoon set at The Edward Day Gallery, one of the main selling points of which was, yes, the free pizza. For those not in the know (though I’m not sure who that would be at this point), The Pizza Underground plays versions of Velvet Underground songs with the lyrics changed to be all about pizza. And they make a ton of bad pizza related jokes during their set. Oh, and that guy from the Home Alone movies is in the band too.  No, not Daniel Stern.

“Now you know what we do. I hope you weren’t expecting more,” said the band a couple of songs into their set.  It’s true, they’ve pretty much just got the one joke, but at least they’re self aware (and self-depricating) enough to acknowledge that they’re a one trick pony.

Having seen the band play once before already, I knew what I was getting into and I knew that the joke wears thin (crust) after a bit. And so, in keeping with the old saying, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” there I was, bright and early on a Friday morning to see it all over again. Their jokes may not have changed since I saw the band at SXSW, but their profile has risen a bit thanks to that infamous UK show where the band had pints tossed at them and were booed off the stage by an unimpressed crowd. The band, to their credit, made reference to that incident with a pretty good joke. Singer/pizza box percussionist Phoebe Kreutz commented on how nice it was to be playing a pizza box with a maple leaf on it. “It makes me feel so safe. It’s like when George W. Bush was president and you’d go backpacking through Europe with a maple leaf pin on so people don’t beat you up. We could have used that in England.”

Posted on by Paul in North By Northeast