The Rapidian

Who was crowned the king of "Found?"

The Found VS Found Tour rolled into Grand Rapids last week. Here's a wrap-up of what happened and which camp went home with the Grand Rapids crown of Found.
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So, what’s better: a "found" letter describing the “dopest fish ever” in Grand Rapids or a "found" exercise VHS circa 1980-something featuring Angela Lansbury in a bathtub reflecting on post-menopausal sex?

You don’t have to answer that – the audience at the Found VS Found event, held at the UICA Sunday evening already did. Well, kind of.

The UICA’s theatre was packed with people ready to witness a “battle royale of found s**t” between the guys behind Found Footage Festival, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, and Found Magazine, a publication by brothers Davy and Peter Rothbart out of Ann Arbor. The show kicked off about fifteen minutes late, and while there were Found Footage preview snapshots being shown on screen, it was noticeable the audience was growing antsy for the duel to begin.

It was a night filled with lost love letters, eyebrow-raising to-do lists, the weirdest clips from home movies and public access TV, poorly produced instructional videos (pro-safety dramatizations!), live acoustic versions of low-fi rap mixtapes, and full frontal nudity. It was a true celebration of the remnants of day-to-day life that sometimes get blown away by the wind, stuffed in drawers, left to be found by curious strangers and thrift store patrons, and ultimately – these guys.

Sunday night’s event was the last stop of the 12-city tour, and it was up to celebrity judge Rob Bliss and two randomly-selected audience judges to decide which crew would be crowned the winners after three rounds of their best material.

Things kicked off with an “all rise for the singing of our national anthem,” and the audience sang along with a clip of drunken Val-du Lakes campers screwing up The Star Spangled Banner in every way possible. Davy Roberts, whose reading style is a likeable mashup of Jerry Seinfeld and Daniel Tosh (of Tosh.O), performed dramatic renditions of strange finds from across the country whilst drinking a bottle of Miller High Life to begin Round One. Next, Found Footage dropped a slew of VHS gold, including a hilarious montage of Federated Mutual Insurance safety videos, and offered timely commentary on the clips that added another layer of comedy to their act. Round One went to Found Footage.

Round Two included Peter Rothbart struggling through acoustic versions of Found Magazine material. He admitted to the audience he forgot his guitar in Ann Arbor and was losing his voice, which garnered some compassion from the judges. Peter, also known as The Poem Adept, was clearly a talented musician, but Sunday was not his night. His version of “Girl, Yo Booty Don’t Stop,” (a terrible rap song found on a discarded cassette tape) was an absolute riot though, with his brother aiding him with some of the vocals. Round Two went to Found Magazine.

During the second round, the guys at Found Magazine passed around an email list for those interested in updates, which didn’t make much sense, considering the theatre was really dark, making it nearly impossible to write legible contact information. Most people let the list go by, and given there was a great merchandise table outside the theatre, it should’ve been there.

Both parties removed all filters for Round Three. Davy began with a profanity-laced note between two teenage girls, which prompted Found Footage to show a montage entitled “Do Not Watch.” It was an assault of full-frontal nudity causing the audience to erupt in semi-nervous laughter and groan. It may have also been why Rob Bliss cast his deciding vote for Found Magazine, which won Round Three with a vote of 2-1, awarding them the Grand Rapids crown.

The UICA theatre did a great job hosting the event, despite the delay. The only thing that could’ve made it better would have been being able to Cheers the performers with my own Miller High Life. Let’s end the UICA Prohibition, donate some cash at the Concessions stand next time you visit.


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