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April 20, 2011

Early review: Charlie Sheen in DC at DAR Constitution Hall with "My Violent Torpedo of Truth"

DAR Constitution Hall was almost sold out Tuesday night for Charlie Sheen's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour.

That the over-3,000 seat venue was practically filled to capacity was the least inexplicable part of last night's event, which might have been more accurately called, "A dull evening with Charlie Sheen," as it was neither violent, explosive nor truthful. 

If the audience paid to watch Sheen impassively answer questions on stage and riff for a few minutes on his goddesses, Donald Trump, President Obama, and recycled Internet memes, then they got their money's worth.

But if they were expecting self-immolation, a public meltdown, or Howard Beale in sweatpants and a baseball jersey, then they were sorely disappointed.

In the hour and a half show, Sheen doesn't do much but react and listen. He was neither self-destructive nor embarrassing. He opened with the type of cursory monologue your crazy uncle delivers every Thanksgiving dinner. He said the system is broken and floated around the idea of running for president, boasting that, at least, he was born here, unlike Obama, whose birth certificate was "photoshopped."

The rest of the first half of the show - about 45 minutes - was taken up by Q&A with the comic Tommy Griffiths where the two played a round of "badmouth the Sheen bimbo" and word association. "What does the word Mars make you think, Charlie?" "Rock Star."

Comedian Jeff Ross took over hosting duties for the second half of the show, first roasting Sheen like he has many others on Comedy Central's annual celebrity roasts, and later inviting audience members to the stage to ask Sheen more questions.

The crowd - rowdy, drunk, and restless for most of the show - stopped yelling non-sequiturs and catcalls when Ross was at the podium. He actually had material to deliver.

Sheen also played two of his most-seen YouTube videos. It turns out $69 to see Charlie Sheen live doesn't get you much beyond what's already available online and on "20/20" for free. At least Sheen wasn't as late as everyone - me included - predicted. He took the stage shortly after 9 p.m., an hour after he was originally supposed to.

A longer review is coming later today.

Photo: Charlie Sheen outside DAR Constitution Hall (Washington Post)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 9:04 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Concert reviews


We went to the show last night and had a good time. He delivered exactly what we had expected, and we were entertained. I give him a lot of credit for showing up at all after the day he had (he could have easily opted to cancel or postpone the show). Charlie spent all morning in court in LA, then flew across the country do do the gig. What no reviews yet have mentioned was that it was announced earlier in the day that the show was rescheduled to 9 PM and that it started right at 9.

Some other reviews mentioned the crowd booing and people "walking out on the show". We never saw Charlie himself get booed and the only people we saw leave early were the people who leave every event early when it is apparent that the show is winding down.

I look forward to your 'longer review' today. For the record, I was at the show last night also. While I was a little upset he started an hour later, I was pleased he started right at 9pm, with no opening act. Also, I am not sure where you were sitting, but I was neither rowdy, drunk, or restless, and neither were the people sitting around me. You failed to mention he received a standing ovation a the start and at the end of the show, and he was never 'booed'. While I don't condone his lifestyle, I did go the show last night with an open and unbiased mind and my rating of the show was that I got my money's worth, and I make the opinion without regard to his past actions. I have been to many many rock concerts where the band started late, where people walked out or left early, and I never saw 'bad reviews' of them.....

Charlie Sheen tour, that's some high art right there. Money well spent, I'm sure! Next time take that $69 & donate it to an animal shelter, brainiacs.

"...neither violent, explosive or truthful.", should be "...neither violent, explosive nor truthful."

@rgs I was there as well and agree with your statements, it seems like maza went in with a pretty negative opinion before Mr. Sheen ever took the stage

@Double B - I have been reading reviews from various news sources today, and they are all saying the same thing as Maza. I am not getting from people who actually attended the show (like you and me) are great!!!

I didn't attend the show due pressing matters that needed tending. I'm sorry to have missed it. I admire Charlie Sheen as an actor and will miss him on "Two and A Half Men". I don't believe anyone can do it like Charlie - he makes the show although the rest of the cast are talented as well. I don't condone his reckless behavior but he does what a lot of us would like to do - LET IT RIP!

I went to the show with my friends, and I thought the younger college kids were drunk and rowdy and RUDE! (I'm only 35, not an old lady with hearing problems)The sound quality was awful..very hard to hear up higher. I think if we could have heard the show we would have enjoyed it but instead we left after an hour.

I, too, attended the show last night in D.C. with my boyfriend as well. We were 5th row from the stage and had a great time. We didn't buy tickets expecting a life changing performance nor were the people around us drunk or heckling. It was crazy, ridiculous, and funny, and worth the money. It was fun to be in the atmosphere and to laugh out loud and relax with people who were there to do the same. He did indeed receive a standing ovation, flew back and forth across the U.S. to be there as he promised (and at least notified people hours in advance that he'd moved it to 9) and was a great sport during the roast. It certainly wasn't a life altering show, but it was fun and worth the money for sure. :)

By the way, what's with the negative reviews anyway? Charlie never even said what the show would be about or promised anything but "the truth." He even commented on this during the show and joked about it. How can you actually criticize a show when it wasn't even described before it happened?

Holy cow ... Charlie Sheen has more shills on this blog than Bad Decisions or Chris Singh

Right on I was reading all of this I was wondering how many e-mail accounts they have set up to praise each show.
It is hard for me to believe that so many writers have it out against him.

Just because someone receives a standing ovation, it doesn't mean he is winning. Anyone can receive a standing ovation regardless. The truth is and of course the truth hurts, that charlie sheen delivered non-sense. Typically a mental patient would do something like this. Just examine his tour name. Violent= violence, hate, anger, Torpedo= destruction, termination, end of life, Truth= arrogance, perfectionist, deceiving, Defeat not an option= wayward, obtuse, naive. There ya go folks observe

I was also there last night. I saw a total of 2 people leave prior to the end of the show from my section. The crowd did boo Tony Griffiths quite a bit. Charlie started off fine at the beginning, but ran out of steam about 10 minutes in. Jeffrey Ross completely turned the show around, as it was sinking rapidly until the point he arrived. The review was correct...when he went into his roast, it was the only time all night people in the audience weren't screaming something or another. The audience Q&A was a bit bland, as was the ending. For the roughly 90 minutes he was on stage (including the videos), about 15 minutes was very good. There was also about 15-20 minutes that were just boring. Everything else was somewhere in between.

Wow a lot of people are d!ckr!d!ng Charlie Sheen!

But no homo, right?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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