They say variety is the spice of life, and local comedian/MC Troo Knot is putting this saying into practice with his new show Spicy, happening at Arts Commons on Saturday July 16.
Spicy will feature comedy, music and dance performance. “I just never want the audience to feel bored at my shows” says Troo Knot (real name Braden Lyster), a multi-instrumentalist musician and stand up comedian. “Generally I think one-genre shows are pretty boring. We all have tiny attention spans so I think bouncing around to different art forms and performers makes the show more engaging.”
Lyster originally launched his variety show concept around 3 years ago, with the hopes of making it an annual event. Called Tungle, the original show was a success, but Covid interrupted the aspirations of holding in annually – until now.
A regular in the open mic comedy scene, Lyster is also the lead singer for METAVORE, a progressive metal band, and Fermented Beet Orchestra, a funky fusion band. He has dabbled in multiple genres over the years working on “basically whatever feels interesting at the time… I’m just gonna keep experimenting and making stuff til I die.” he says. His experimentation has won him accolades in various genres, garnering nominations for Best YYC recordings in the the genres of EDM, Metal, and Rock, over the past four years.
“I love making music” he says, “But the process of making music takes awhile, so by the time I release a song I’m usually over it.” So how does Lyster keep the passion alive? By working closely with dancers to present his music. “Dancers give the songs a new life”
The diversity of the dance contingent reflects Lyster’s passion for variety. A cosmopolitan mix of performers will be interpreting his tracks, with dancers having been trained in everything from Mexican Folk Dance to Hip Hop to Bboy to Vogueing. The dancers come from performance backgrounds which include everything from self produced street groups to the Calgary Opera, thus, Spicy promises to be a visual buffet.
Lyster will also be using the Spicy show as an opportunity to film his first comedy special. Why add comedy? “I’ve been doing comedy with musical elements for 8 years but started getting really into stand-up without the music gear during covid. Comedy is so wordy and thinky. It’s neat combining it with a visceral art form like dance.”
Tickets will also grant entrance to the after party at Koi, featuring DJs Table Mannerz + Nasty G. The after party will be the last event happening at Koi, which is unfortunately closing its doors. “Koi holds a huge place in my heart.” says Lyster. “It was where I started performing in Calgary and met so many lovely people there over the years. I’m sad that it’s closing but honored to send them off with a bang.”
“Spicy” is happening this Saturday at 8pm at the Big Secret Theatre, which is on the north side of Arts Commons building, facing Olympic Plaza. Tickets are available through Arts Commons or at the door.