Trixie Mattel

Review: Trixie Mattel Slays Minneapolis with Live Singing & Stand-Up Comedy

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 winner and “Skinny Legend” Trixie Mattel served an energetic mix of guitar strums and punch lines.

Photo: Melissa Miller / Pabst Theater Group

Photo: Melissa Miller / Pabst Theater Group

Photo: David Wala/REX/Shutterstock

Photo: David Wala/REX/Shutterstock

Most Murray & Peter Present drag tours are ensemble cast affairs, with the hottest queens from various seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race united on stage by a common theme. Every once in a while, however, a very special drag queen earns a solo trek across North America. 

2016 saw Drag Race star Latrice Royale doing a limited engagement run of Here's to Life,  an intimate, cabaret-style retelling of her life story. Now, Trixie Mattel is on the road with Now With Moving Parts, an ambitious, nationwide solo tour in support of her new album One Stone. Fresh off winning RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3, Trixie commanded the crowd like a star who's no longer "on the rise," but instead a fully cemented LGBT icon. 

The night began with Trixie's music producer Brandon James Gwinn as opening act. Gwinn led the largely gay audience in fun sing-along numbers on piano. These included "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua and "Part of Your World" from Disney's The Little Mermaid. The crowd was living for it, loudly and enthusiastically singing along. Gwinn would sprinkle in smart humor, which was a great primer for a full night of music-meets-comedy. By the time Gwinn launched into an original song, "Your Face," the loosened-up crowd busted out laughing. An ideal reaction to the material, as the song deftly mixed familiar pop sounds with comedic lyrics. 

Trixie Mattel opened her set with "Mama Don't Make Me Put on the Dress Again," her 2017 debut single. Effortlessly singing and playing instruments in tandem, her skilled musicianship impressed. Even though she performs country-folk music in full Barbie-esque drag and stiletto heels, Trixie's passion for the genre does not feel like tokenism or a gimmick. It was clear from the get go that she respects the genre.

Comedy is what Trixie Mattel is best known for, from being an audience favorite "comedy queen" on RuPaul's Drag Race to hosting The Trixie and Katya Show on Viceland. Immediately after her opening number, Trixie put down the pink guitar and launched into a jaw-dropping stand-up routine. References to RuPaul and Drag Race were toned down in favor of crowd interactions - and more unexpected subject matter, like school shootings and dating apps. 

Mattel later sang a handful more songs while strumming on custom guitars made by the likes of Fender. These included folk tracks from her new album One Stone, like the hit "Moving Parts" and her current single, "Break Your Heart." There were also some brilliant covers. An acoustic mashup of Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" and "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac joined the millennial and baby boomer generations in the audience together for a sing-a-long. Trixie's mashup of "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World and elements of Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" felt a bit less fluid, but still got the crowd's motor runnin'. 

Brandon James Gwinn came back to the stage from time to time, providing backup vocals and instrumentation. He even popped up as Jesus Christ... and asked Trixie for a selfie. Oh lord! 

References to stan Twitter were frequent, from the announcer dubbing Trixie a "skinny legend" to Trixie performing an entire number themed around the popular God Warrior meme. 

Trixie Mattel sang 100% live - and sounded great. Though they're known for lip-syncing, drag queens singing live isn't as uncommon as it would seem. RuPaul, Latrice RoyaleWillam, Sharon Needles, Alaska Thunderfuck, the late Divine and countless other drag stars have been known to sing live. 

The Minneapolis stop of Trixie Mattel's Now With Moving Parts tour deftly balanced its comedy and folk music elements. Folk can come across as old-timey and serious, so the fact that a comedic entertainer has successfully popularized it in 2018 is remarkable. The shock and awe factor of her stand up comedy worked because she had the confidence to land the riskiest of punchlines. It didn't hurt that her audience was clearly there to support their favorite queen.

Highly Recommended.

For more tea, read my exclusive interview with Trixie Mattel. 


Want to see Trixie Mattel on her Now With Moving Parts tour? Buy tickets now.

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Exclusive: Trixie Mattel Talks All Stars 3, Shangela, Hipsters and New Tour

Currently running as the Cover Story of Issue 113 of Twin Cities Gay Scene magazine - view here

Photo provided by Varran Media, LLC.

Photo provided by Varran Media, LLC.

I recently had the honor of interviewing RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel. She snuck out of the Drag Race Hall of Fame to bring her country music-meets-stand up comedy tour across North America. Sip on all this exclusive tea... and then snatch your tickets!


Condragulations on winning “All Stars 3”! How does it feel?

I’ve been a loser for 28 years and I’ve only been a winner for a couple weeks. It feels strange... a little itchy. There’s a crown and scepter in a box in my garage, but I will always be a loser in my heart.

The finale of “All Stars 3” was controversial due to the eliminated queens coming back to choose the final two. It’s been weeks since it aired, and months since it filmed. Is everyone all good now, or is there still some divide? 

The queens are all at peace. As I said in the finale, I was Team Shangela! But the queens almost voted unanimously so I think there’s resolution on our end. The human race? Still shook, snatched bald, and found dead.

I did the right thing - Shangela loves TV, so I went out and bought the BIGGEST TV I could find and I went to her house, and I gave her... the box. She loves it! She pops in and out, “Halleloo! Halleloo!” It’s adorable.

Photo provided by Varran Media, LLC. 

Photo provided by Varran Media, LLC. 

There’s been a big wave of country songs from traditionally pop artists like Beyoncé (“Daddy Lessons”), Lady Gaga ("Joanne” album), Kesha (tracks on “Rainbow”), Justin Timberlake (“Man of the Woods” LP), and Kylie Minogue with her new “Golden” album. As a country artist, what are your thoughts on this trend? 

If pop artists are bringing awareness to my favorite genre, folk/country, I’m so here for it! Country and folk deserves all the attention possible!

However, wearing fringe or a sheepskin vest while singing music that is essential still pop isn’t a genre crossover - it’s a costume change, Linda.

“Trixie & Katya,” your hilarious VICELAND series, recently wrapped Season One - shortly after Katya announced her break from drag is over. Is Season Two in the works? 

You know if I said anything about it, RuPaul, our executive producer, could have me killed in minutes.

Reddit leakers have been a problem for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for multiple seasons now. As a contestant and now a winner, how do you feel about this? 

To quote Jasmine Masters, some people need to do the "Get A Job Challenge.” 

Your luxury perfume with Xyrena, “Plastic by Trixie Mattel,” evokes that new, fresh out the box plastic toy smell so many of us loved as kids. Tell us about the creation process.

We wanted it to smell like a My Little Pony would smell or a Strawberry Shortcake doll. Fruity, feminine, fun, but definitely synthetic and fresh. I think we succeeded. Making perfume is a surprisingly nuanced process! Makes me think how many fragrances probably had a few versions of each that were possible.

A lot of us Minnesotans have memories visiting your home state of Wisconsin; do you have any memories in Minnesota?

I dated a boy freshman year of college and I used to drive the 5.5 hours from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities. I love the 19 Bar! Minneapolis is where I discovered some next level hipster behaviors. I once let someone pee on me for a White Castle slider. Different times.

Give us a tease of your “Now With Moving Parts Tour” stop at the Pantages Theatre on May 10th, honey!

My show is sad gay caucasian music, PLUS off-color straight-to-hell comedic tapas. I suggest drinking.


Source: Murray & Peter Present

Source: Murray & Peter Present

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Is this "Skinny Legend" visiting YOUR city? Buy tickets to TRIXIE MATTEL: NOW WITH MOVING PARTS North American Tour at DragFans.com

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