Trevor Noah at the County Fairby Natalie Jacobs June 29, 2017
Trevor Noah did a few things that were very impressive when he swung through San Diego for a performance at the County Fair on Tuesday night. First, he came on without an opening act – without even very much enthusiasm from the announcer. We were waiting for 20 minutes and then all of a sudden a voice boomed over the loud speaker and simply said “Announcing, Trevor Noah.” No fanfare. Just a man in a black hoodie casually walking onto the stage. Not every performer would have the confidence that they could turn a sprawling outdoor crowd from checking phones and eating turkey legs to completely absorbing their presence in a matter of minutes. He did give himself some time to get everyone going in the intro, with some off-hand remarks about the Fair and the sunset. And that’s where the second impressive thing happened: he compared the San Diego sunset to Africa. This felt like a compliment.
On stage, Noah is an expert storyteller. The third incredible thing he did was perform for 90 minutes. Think about the last concert you went to – did the band perform for 90 minutes? Trevor Noah is one guy who walks back and forth on a stage telling stories and making faces. And yet, the audience was engrossed the whole time.
It was refreshing that he didn’t orient his entire performance around the political satire that he’s gaining notoriety for on The Daily Show, not because I disagree with his perspectives in that realm, but because I haven’t been able to find the humor in the reality yet. It was much more fun to hear his unique perspective as a South African of mixed race living in the United States on the things I don’t really think much about – like tacos, drive-thrus and “wader” (as opposed to waTer). That being said, his Donald Trump impersonation is worth the price of admission.