Jesus. Where the fuck do I start?
Here’s the thing about acts down in the Vault @ Q. It’s an intimate space – the seats are slightly cramped, there’s the sound of a giant air-con working over time, and the comedian is about two steps in front of you. So if the show doesn’t work, it becomes super noticeable, super fast.
And then you have acts like Li’i Alaimoana. Or Alaiguana, as he prefers. He killed, absolutely. And he damn well should know it if he doesn’t already.
A nominee for the Billy T and rising star out of good ol’ Welly, Li’i has an easy presence on stage and a soft-spoken voice even though he looks like the kind of dude that can probably crush the tiny-as mic he’s holding and turn it into dust with one had.
Yet the moment he starts his stand-up, the “routine” bit easily slides away. There’s a connection in the absurdist narratives he tells which deeply connect with those of us who were brought up in Asian or Pacific communities. Alaimoana draws from his familial connections which produce side-splitting results.
The highlights included a live song with an acoustic guitar, regaling interactions between him and his missus, and really, just the look on his face when he’s talking about his kids. Half proud, half exasperation, full on love and adoration. But man oh man. Those kids.
I swear, I choked on my drink several times, howled with laughter so hard my chest started to hurt, and nearly fell off the chair because I couldn’t breath. By the time I was grabbing a late-night tucka after the show, I had nearly completely lost my voice.
Li’i Alaimoana is a must-see. The stories he brings and the voice he speaks in really is quintessential New Zealand. We have enough white males in comedy who bank on the same shit time and time again. Seriousli’i? is a breath of fresh air in a crowded line-up this comedy fest, that speak comedic gold truth to everyday life here in our portion of the Pacific.
This is most definitely an act I will happily revisit, every opportunity I have.
Please go and see his show tonight – it’s well worth every cent and much, much more. You will not be disappointed.
Who: Li’i Alaimoana