Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Charlie Sheen's live show somehow not the magical night audiences were expecting

Illustration for article titled Charlie Sheen's live show somehow not the magical night audiences were expecting

As you no doubt heard over the weekend, Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour saw the F-18 deploying his ordnance in a less boast-worthy way, reportedly bombing in Detroit to a flurry of catcalls, boos, and walkouts, then ending 20 minutes early without so much as a benediction. But then, audiences weren’t ready for Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring either, and its opening night caused actual riots among refined Parisians. Perhaps Sheen’s own complicated dance steps could hardly be expected to go over so well in the rowdy Motor City, where citizens were riled by a disjointed show full of incomprehensible rambling, self-indulgent video clips, and a Q&A session where Sheen refused to answer anything directly, which was definitely not what they paid to see, even though it sort of was. Yes, somehow Sheen’s open contempt for the opinions of “losers” and his supreme confidence in his own abilities to just wing it failed to coalesce into a crowd-pleasing show—not that it mattered, as Sheen reminded one heckler, “I already got your money, dude!” Sheen, after all, is the self-proclaimed “most honest man in America.”

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Still, perhaps remembering his own “fastball” philosophy, “Plan Better,” Sheen reportedly stayed up all night—using only the power of his mind!—during the drive from Detroit to Chicago to work on retooling the show, ditching the clips and the open-ended crack stories, and concentrating on a far more humble interview format where Sheen could do what Sheen does best—namely, play off a series of softball questions and waffle on his former opinions by saying he wanted his Two And A Half Men job back. Violent truth torpedo off the starboard side! The result: A show that, in the words of the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Johnson, seemed to “satisfy, if not amaze, concertgoers,” who were apparently content simply to hear variations on the same interview that Sheen has been giving for the past couple of months, only live and in person. Only 18 more shows to go, and judging by this exponential rate of softening on his “Defeat Is Not An Option” motto, expect the last night of the tour to find Sheen simply uttering the word "winning" a few dozen times, then doing a staged reading of Men At Work.

Here’s some video of Sheen’s opening night in Detroit.