351: BLUE MAN GROUP

I’m sure you know of the Blue Man Group. They’re stage performers with wacky mime stuff and blue paint. Yeah, they’re a pop culture institution. Sure.

But did you know the Blue Man Group also put on one of the most electrifying and incredible rock shows on the planet?

Their first album, 1999’s ‘Audio’, was a mix of music from their stage shows and new instrumental pieces using their unique instruments. But in 2002 and 2003 they starting crafting more rock-oriented music, incorporating guitars, bass and drums, as well as vocals. These songs became the album ‘The Complex’, but the tour that followed that really showed BMG were onto something remarkable.

The Complex Rock Tour’ was released as a live DVD and it is simply something to behold. An army of drummers, guitarists, and more, performing some of the most uplifting rock music you’ve ever seen, while an audience ranging from 7 to 70 are enraptured. And all the while this almost spiritual scene of triumphant rock performances is conducted by three mute blue men hitting pipes and piano strings.

They followed this with the ‘How to Be a Megastar’ tour, which continued to the themes of deconstructing the tropes of rock stardom and the rock concert concept. It also kept the element of being a truly breathtaking live performance.

There is just not enough good things I can say about the Blue Man Group rock show performances. As someone who only ever got to see them via recordings (which I’ve watched and listened to more times than I can count), I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to experience them in person.

Somehow, with these performances, the Blue Man Group managed to capture everything good about the live music experience – the pageantry, the excitements, the collective joy – and amplify it in such a way that everyone can enjoy it.