"What's great about tonight is that I can see everybody, everybody is in focus and I haven't thrown up a bunch of times," announced erstwhile party animal Gary Busey from the Palace stage Tuesday as he celebrated his cleaned-up status, and his first break from acting for a musical performance in quite a while.
You just know that Busey's going to be an animated guy, and he was suitably semi-hyper for the occasion. Busey may have been rocking out in public long before some of the more recent actor/singers like Don Johnson and Bruce Willis, but the attitude is pretty much the same all around: Give the people a good time, which boils down to your basic glorified Malibu bar-band approach.
R&B-flavored party rock was alternated with country-flavored party rock (complete with a synthesizer emulating an accordion on a bayou ballad-- yech ), served by a seven-piece backup band fronted by a Busey who seemed intent on trying too hard.
The good-naturedness of the affair carried the up-tempo stompers, but his enthusiasm was a bit much when he tried to put a melodramatic spin on slow, sweet-but-insipid love songs that didn't survive the first tumble of a verse. Busey is a fine actor, and has the gruff charms of a singer, but he really should avoid acting while he's singing.