Alaska ‘Red 4 Filth’ LIVE Review, Now Valentines Day Is In Her Sights

Credit: Jeremy Hinks

Well, like most of you, I have been a fan of Alaska for some time. I interviewed Alaska a couple of years ago and was surprised at how funny and over the top she was. I have listened to her music as kind of a staple of “How far can you go?” playlists, but never once watched RuPaul’s All Star Drag Race Season 2. I didn’t need to watch a TV show to know how amazing she is, but, well, going to a live show kind of kills any expectations you had anyway.

In my interview and other interviews, I had come to understand that an Alaska live show, is not just a typical drag event, it’s going to be an over-the-top experience that will take you places only she could imagine, and let me tell you, her imagination has no limits.

I had planned on attending shows for years, but all of them were canceled or postponed for all the reasons everyone else had to put off shows, this was a long overdue experience.

Alaska Thunder (WHAT THE ACTUAL) FUCK!!!! LIVE
Artist : Alaska Thunderfuck (AKA Alaska 5000)
Date: December 9 2020
Venue: Club Soundwell
City: Salt Lake City Utah

I got to the venue for ‘Red 4 Filth’, and recognizing so many people from the community walking in. I was met with bad news as somehow it had not gotten to the guys at the door that I was on the guest list to photograph. While I was digging through my phone to find the confirmation email, the bouncer said “Look man, you photograph here all the time, I believe you, you can go in.” I managed to show him the email, and they let me in.

So, how does an Alaska show unfold? I’ll describe it this way … If Lady Gaga joined Sigue Sigue Sputnik and lead everyone through the ‘Adventures of Alice in Acid-land,’ only more over the top and bizarre.

Alaska was on stage with all the insanity you could imagine, and more than you couldn’t, she opened with “Beautiful Night (4 A) Breakdown”, then “uh”. The was interrupted by an evil space bitch on the screen yelling at her about wearing the color “Red”. (I am not kidding about any of this, it was a story/adventure…. Sort of, I’m not sure I was even able to follow the story but her performance was awesome).

She somehow ended up in a garbage bag, covered in trash, having gone through a time machine and landed in a shopping mall in Y2K. She took a side tangent about walking around in the Shopping Mall, looking at a cell phone kiosk and getting angry because the rate structure doesn’t make any sense, and falling in love with a horse (see the photos) while she performed “XOXOY2K”.

She then had a guest appearance from Lagoona Bloo singing “More Than Enough 2 Me.”

Something that I noticed, her dancers were laughing, not just smiling for the show, they were LAUGHING, and still trying to stay in character. I can only imagine how much fun THEY were having, ’cause for the punters, it was a total riot, but those guys seemed to be having more fun than the rest of us.

Somehow the story moved on, to her meeting up with a handsome “Hollywood Agent” who was going to lead her into a life of great glory, fame, bad taste, and excess. During all of this, she was still being harassed and haunted by this Space Bitch chasing her through time and space, and something about the color “Red”.

True love, or money and fame
Oh look, Alaska getting yelled at by her nemesis

Now, something I was enjoying about this show is that there were people from all walks of life there, plenty of gay folks, and to my surprise, plenty of straight women who are just fans of the art of Drag, and a lot of clearly straight dudes just out for a good time. Everyone was enjoying themselves, and for any Alaska show, there will be a lot of Leopard Print. I was just as surprised to see how many people knew the songs, were singing along with them, and bantering with her about the lyrics. She told me once that she loves her fans knowing her songs, so she is not pressured to remember them, she will just point the mic at the fans and they will sing the words she forgot. Yeah, it was that kind of evening. Alaska made it clear to the punters that WE were there to make this show happen for her, she was just the narrator of this chaotic fun story (and there was A LOT of Leopard Print).

She had dancers/cast members dancing to different numbers, each song requiring another costume change so most of which she was narrating the costume change while off stage, with completely humorous banter and narration in between songs. She didn’t stop doing anything, it was more here just wandering around this fantasy adventure keeping us all engaged and entertained. Several of her cast members were playing guitars, etc, that were not plugged in, but hey, it was great for the effects.

Aside from a quick soundbite of her song “Everyone Wants To Fuck Me” from her masterpiece album ‘VAGINA’ and a few lines about being on the planet YOUR-“Anus” in the story, I realized this was not very racy or seedy at all. I was expecting plenty of off-color humor as I see at other drag shows, but this evening Alaska steered away from 95% of that, I would dare say, it could have passed as a PG-13 show. She knew how to put on a great concert and keep everyone entertained.

Alaska’s show wasn’t one song, a break, and then another, it all seemed like one song, or a chaotic stream of thought, to music, it was well done, of course, the interruptions of the evil Space Bitch reminded us that we were somewhere in the telling of a story.

Alaska broke out into a “Superbowl Mega MIX” of songs, that kind of reminded me of the “Mr. Touchdown” number from the 1894 movie “Revenge Of The Nerds”, only cooler. She did a medley of her songs, in a football uniform, YES we all got the must-haves, “Your Makeup Is Terrible,” “Nails”, “Stun”, “This is My Hair”, all the ones we came to hear while tossing a football around, inviting us all to the biggest tailgate party in the galaxy… wearing “RED”.

She took a few minutes to perform a skit that was a thinly veiled commercial, she was showing her fashion-designed pieces, like “This, this RED BUCKET HAT, kind of like the one J-Lo wore, you know a bucket, its so bad you would need it to throw up in”. She touted a few other wares, like this red lace, but see-through fanny pack. All of this was for sale at the merch table, and I shamelessly sacked the table, spending far more than I had planned, but it was all cool stuff (CDs, Posters, Tshirts, and when you go to these shows, you should sack the merch table too, with less shame than I did).

The Space Bitch came out, (Looking like Alaska in a different outfit) and played the cover of “All That She Wants” by the Swedish Pop act ‘Ace of Base’.

She finished the show somehow ending up in jail on some spaceship run by the EVIL SPACE BITCH, in chains. She went into some monologue about them, maybe they were so heavy, or tight, and they were confined, like the things in our lives that confine us. And this prison dress, or was it a specially designed “Alaska Exclusive”, and those chains were just cheap props she got from Zurchers, and all that was in her mind (or ours).

She talked about if she could go back in time, what would she say to her younger self. She said she would tell her younger self, “You didn’t need to bribe the producers of RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race Season 2 that $10,000 to get in, you would have gotten in anyway… KIDDING”. Alaska could talk about opening the cookbook and read the recipe for eggplant parmesean and have everyone in the room laughing.

She gave a beautiful closing monologue inviting everyone to live their true authentic selves. And in the recent shooting at the drag show in Denver, she said the most powerful thing I have heard from the LGBTQ community in a very long time. “Going to a drag show should NOT have to be an act of bravery, but thank you all for coming out tonight”, and, “To all of those haters out there, WE are not going to be who you blame for all of the wrongs in society.” I was touched by this and found it just a poignant statement, and a great message to leave us with at the end of a very intense show, and all of this in the song “RED” (I guess that was the theme, took me a while to catch on).

Alaska Thunderfuck will give you the greatest drag show you have ever seen (even if you don’t understand the story). It will be funny, intense, fast-moving, and touching.

So go catch one of these upcoming dates, AND buy something from the merch table. (I can only imagine what this concert is going to be like, get your tickets now, and make sure to wear your Leopard Print).

Alaska-Valentines-Day-is-Terrible

I solemnly testify that all of these things happened exactly as I described it, the pictures will validate all of it, even if I don’t know what the hell was going on that night.


For more information, check out these fabulous websites:

https://alaskathunderfuck.com

https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaThunder?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/alaska5000

https://www.instagram.com/theonlyalaska5000/

 

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