What do you get when you mix a marching band with a Broadway musical revue and Stomp? Blast II: Shockwave, a self-described hard-to-describe performance that was spawned out of Blast, something also difficult to describe but also involving a melee of musicians from Indiana's drum corps Star of Indiana who've taken over the stage and gone looooony!
So here's how it evolved, if this will give you a better idea of what to expect next Thursday and Friday at the Pikes Peak Center:
In 1984, The Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps was founded by businessman Bill Cook. With artistic director James Mason leading the group, they became the first new corps to ever place in the top 10 at the Drum Corps International World Championships. Finally, in 1991, they became the world champs by introducing all kinds of explosive showmanship and original choreography, and super-duper musicianship into their routine. In 1993, Mason began transforming the corps from a competitive drum corps into a theatrical show consisting of 60 people who go all willy-nilly and whatnot.
And what, you may be asking yourself, does "all willy-nilly and whatnot" mean? It's difficult to say if you haven't seen it, but it combines songs like Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" with things like digerydoos, mellophones, euphoniums, surdos and "spinning and tossing unusual implements along with the traditional sabers and colorful flags in perfectly synchronized, ballet-like drill." Essentially, it's a willy-nilly melee, if you will.
One thing's for sure: The critics love it the way they loved Stomp, Riverdance, Burn the Floor and other heavily produced Broadway crossover wacky wonders. Fun for the whole family, except for those members of the family who don't like fun.
-- Noel Black