Blue Man Group
Friday, September 6, 2013
Featuring the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of Thomas Wilkins
Songs performed: Theme from “Jaws”/Theme from “Chariots of Fire”, Baba O’Reilly (and more)
Comments: The Hollywood Bowl was turned over to the ground-breaking performance trio, Blue Man Group, last weekend for 2 shows. So what is the Blue Man Group, you ask? Well, this was my first time seeing them live. I had seen clips on TV from the Las Vegas show, as well as the touring productions too. So what you got was a bit of a rock concert, part performance art, and part comedy.
The guys in the group, look a little like aliens from another planet with their bald heads and blue skin. They don’t speak, but they did interact with the conductor, Thomas Wilkins — who was definitely a good sport for the night. The first appearance by the Men was on top of the light rigging in the Bowl. When they hit the stage there were only 2, but the third guy was missing, turns out he was sitting with some people in the audience.
They then proceeded to make some music, by hitting plastic pipes with what looked like wooden spoons. They were learning how to write “Orchestral Music for Dummies.” The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra was their backup for the night as well as their own rock band, off to the side.
The music ranged from new age, to classical, to film scores to world music to classic rock & roll. The guys were happy to share their stage with others. During one number they brought: a sitar player, a diva, a drum & pipe group, a beat boxer, a box containing “ZuuZuu” singers, a fake Kenny G., and a fake Daft Punk too and more. The stage was pretty full!
Besides playing the pipes on their pipe organ, they put pipe pieces together in different combinations to achieve different sounds. They also took over the conducting of the orchestra at one point. And proceeded to conduct it with a plastic blow-up shark, and an Olympic torch (hence the “Jaws” v. “Chariots of Fire” number).
The craziest part of the night was when they took the conductor, suited him up in a white hazard suit and helmet, lead him back behind the Bowl. Then they strung him up on a huge crane about 100 feet in the air, and dropped him down on some airbags — only to make some weird blue painting. It was a fun sight gag — you know they switched the conductor out with a real stunt man for this. But Mr. Wilkins played his part well.
I also enjoyed the part where one guy was hitting the Bowl on one side, and another was welding the side of the Bowl on the other. Great visuals going back and forth on the outer ring of the Bowl. Sound waves, and sparks flying back and forth.
Another skit was pretty much taken from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon at the Bowl. They brought out an opera singer in a box. One of the Blue Men conducted him with white gloves on, making him sing high and low parts. They had to bring back the conductor to get him to be quiet.
They brought out Brazilian group, Monobloco, near the end. They are a big folk group, all playing acoustic instruments, with several vocalists. The fireworks started up during their number, as well as a big group of carnival dancers coming through the aisles up to the stage. There was even a fireworks outline of the Blue Man Group on top of the Bowl. Confetti and streamers went out into the crowd, as the Blue Men played the drums with the lighted water in them.
Thanks to the Blue Man Group (Played by Christopher Bowen, Mark Frankel and Brian Scott) for a great time. Now I know what all the fuss is about.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.