MICF 2014: The Axis of Awesome – Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas

Axis of Awesome - MICF 2014Reviewed by The Laughing Kiwi

Many may perceive this comedy rock band as a one-hit-wonder as they are most known for one particular song on YouTube however if you were to dig deeper, you will soon discover they are anything but. The Axis of Awesome are a pop rock sensation that specialize in parodying hit songs.

Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas begins with a perfect parodied medley of the three songs that created the show’s title: Viva La Vida (Coldplay), Living La Vida Loca (Ricky Martin) and Viva Las Vegas (Elvis). Fortunately this is an excellent combination that appeals to all of the age groups in the audience who immediately rise to the mood of the occasion.

The band’s set is a good mix of their newer songs as well as reprising some songs from their first album, Animal Vehicle.  Jordan Raskopoulos has the energy levels of the crowd on a consistent high as any band front-man would while guitarist Lee Naimo demonstrates some deliberately transparent character work, most notably in a one-man song about his criminal ways. Both Raskopoulos and Naimo use their trademarked “picking on the little guy” on keyboardist Benny Davis throughout the show to great comic effect.

After a multitude of syllable perfect parodies and some original works, the band open up the show for some audience participation which gave them a chance to get intimate with their audience.  No doubt every evening’s performance will bring something different; for the show I attended there was shameless dad-dancing going on and also some “Choke ’n’ Stroke” action – something you’ll only fully enjoy when seeing it live.

The show wraps up with the band’s constantly evolving claim to fame Four Chords song. This song – which is possibly the only musical remix to contain Elvis, Green Day and Miley Cyrus together – is a clear crowd favourite, getting laughter of recommendation almost every fifteen seconds.

All in all, The Axis of Awesome delivered a very fun and well-formatted ‘rockstravaganza’. It is a high energy and highly theatrical show which will bring a smile to everyone.


The Axis of Awesome are performing at The Famous Spiegeltent at Federation Square every day throughout the festival.  For more details and to book tickets, click here.

If you are impressed by Benny’s performance in the band, you should also check him out at the Hi-Fi Bar on April 17th where he will be doing some of his solo stuff as his alternate persona ‘The Human Jukebox’.

*Editor note: I went to see Benny’s debut show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year – check out my Broadway Baby review here.

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