Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 

Blue Man Group At Thompson Boling

Short version: It's a great show, but I've seen it before.

For the long version, click for It seems that the Blue Man Group has taken a cue from Microsoft's marketing department, The tour is called 2.0, which would make you think it's a new version, but it's really more of an upgrade to 1.1. That's not entirely a bad thing as the original show was really good, but the deceptive advertising involved left me feeling slightly dissatisfied as the show went on.

From the Blue Man Group website FAQ
Q. Is this show the same as The Complex Rock Tour?

A.This is not The Complex Rock Tour. We are taking some of the core elements of the original rock tour and making some wholesale changes. How to be a Megastar Tour 2.0 expands on the "Rock Concert Manual" concept from The Complex Rock Tour. This time around, the Blue Men download a new "how-to manual" that takes the audience through a uniquely clever and interactive show that guarantees to deliver hypnotic entertainment for all ages. There are plans for new music, new video, and more opportunities for interactive experiences.


The above description is true only if you think that "some of the core elements" can be interpreted as meaning "all of the music and most of the videos." The only new music was a short snip of a song about global warming, and a new bit about out of control lead guitarists. The new musical parts of the show comprised a total of maybe 6 or 7 minutes.

Not what I would call wholesale changes.

Two or three new videos featuring the "brother" of Ron Popeil selling the "How to be a Megastar" kit and references to "Floppy the Banjo Clown" are the biggest non-musical additions to the show, and to be honest, I preferred the slightly sardonic voice-overs of the original show. Fortunately, most of those original bits are still in place.

OK, so that's the bad part; the marketing of the show is somewhat deceptive and rather than a new show, it's really just a continuation of the old tour. Well, that's also the good part, because the show is really really good. From opening act Mike Relm all the way to the closing song, the show is filled with high energy music and performances guaranteed to get your head bobbing, your arms pumping and your feet jumping.

The show started right on time, a pleasant surprise in my concert going experience, as scratch artist Mike Relm took to the stage. Mike has put together a very unique act where he synchronizes video to scratching to create a multimedia performance that has to be experienced to be appreciated. As an example, he created a mashup of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" with a very strong hip hop beat and synced it to clips from "Dave Chappelle's Show." He also created a stirring musical moment with clips from Nacho Libre, and in what was the highlight of his show, immortalized 'the O face' from Office Space.

Mike performed a quick 20 minute set, which was followed by a long 30 minute intermission before the Blue Man Group began their show. The show featured all of the group's unusual instruments including the air whips and the backpack tubulums. Peter Moore from Count Zero is back to handle vocals and I still think he blows Dave Matthews away when he performs "Sing Along." I missed Annette Strean's vocals on "I Feel Love," mainly for the attitude she projected in the song. She really looked like she was having fun with it, even though the dress she wore for the performance weighs 40 lbs. The woman singing in her place for this leg of the tour, who is also replacing Tracy Bonham, has a great voice, but she looked more like she was working than having fun. I got the impression she was auditioning for Star Search instead of feeling love. The group performed for about an hour and a half, ending with "What is Rock," a number that had the audience standing and jumping in the air.

To sum it all up, it's a great show, and if they had said at the beginning that it was more or less a continuation of the old tour, I still would have paid to see it. I just would have felt better about it.

The Blue Man Group will be in this area a couple of weeks, stopping in Louisville, Memphis and Raleigh.
Posted by Rich
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I just got back from the raleigh show. I was at the Charlotte one as well. Charlotte had Tracy and Raleigh and Mike. Tracy is 100 times better than Mike. We really missed her in Raliegh. Wish I knew why she stopped touring.
Posted by Chris  on  03/12  at  12:00 AM

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