I suspect Alia Vryens and Colin Craig, the comedy rock duo from PickUp, are the biggest nerds around after seeing their new Melbourne International Comedy Festival show suitably titled Nerds Are Sexy. The pair sing and talk their way around a variety of nerd themes while reassuring the audience that liking things and being passionate about things should be celebrated and not hidden away in a wardrobe.
Vryens and Craig's free-flowing energy and enthusiasm are easily comparable to the moment you kill Bowser in the final round of Super Mario Bros. Even with a relatively small stage space, they are always moving and completely dedicated to giving the audience a great time. It's not long before the show begins to resemble a group of friends chilling out and playing music in their garage. Their use of popular culture references like Pokemon, Dr. Who and others I've never heard of previously, to tie into their themes of relationships, sexism and life experience is well thought out.
The pair have written all the original songs performed, including "My Boobs Have +5 Armour" which cheekily looks at the differences between male and female characters' body armour costumes and "Gotta Catch 'em All (The Poke-Tinder song)", which is pretty self explanatory. You can easily feel guilty for sitting when the music is playing because all you want to do is get up and bust out some sick Dance Dance Revolution moves. There is even time for a ballad in this loving tribute to nerdiness, and when you hear Vryen sing about the love for her fake boyfriend Alistair (from Dragon Age), you'd be hard-pressed to pick anything else as a highlight.
At times, PickUp throws questions out to the audience
about what they are nerds for and you can see people itching to
share theirs. What's impressive with PickUp is that rather
than simply acknowledge the responses, they are actually aware of
what the person is talking about and able to get into a short
conversation about it. People's eyes light up when they have the opportunity to discuss something they really like and it's a constant source of enjoyment watching this happen during Nerds Are Sexy.
PickUp know they're nerds and they also know their nerds. There are plenty of laughs to be had here - even if you're like me and don't always get the references. More importantly though, Nerds Are Sexy is a show that allows you to feel good about
yourself and the fact that you have a comic book collection that needs its own bedroom, and what more could you ask for?
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: until 21 April, 10pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $34 Full | $30 Conc | $27 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website