Luxor, Las Vegas; NV
Sunday, July 24
I first saw Blue Man Group in Las Vegas four years ago. I didn’t check out the recent New Zealand tour, but I was thinking about heading along. I figured there’d be a few changes, it might be worth seeing. There are several Blue Man Groups, or several cast members of one corporation called Blue Man Group – with ongoing shows in several American cities and world tours. There’s even a Blue Man Group that records albums. It’s all one Blue Man Group, conceptually.
The chance to see Blue Man Group again in Las Vegas, in a different theatre was not one to turn down. It’s a lot of fun. Here’s a show that anyone can take in – almost all ages too. You can go to Blue Man Group if you want to see physical comedy and weird mime, you can go if you want to see – and hear – music. You go for the point of ‘The Show’ and arguably there is no real ‘point’.
Okay, Blue Man Group is three men dressed head to toe in blue paint and a uniform; they’re alien, they’ve fallen to earth, they’re wide-eyed observers. Are they here to study us? I mean, in between playing drums, splashing paint, dragging audience members into all of this fun-mess and playing percussive riffs across PVC piping.
There are new set pieces this time – huge creatures comprised of drums, new videos of insects, a humorous parody of tablet/phone culture – and if there is a theme, it’s around human interconnectivity, and how little we really know from aiming to be connected to/with everything.
But if you didn’t see that – or couldn’t feel it – no matter. No matter at all.
What’s astounding about the sensory overload that is Blue Man Group – neon lights and paint, strobe and hard rock music, completely non-verbal performers that convey so much through only their eyes – is that it is arguably without nuance.
It takes a bad heavy metal producer’s dictum: Everything Louder Than Everything Else and chews up nuance to spit out in candy-colour onto a small square canvas that is handed to one lucky audience member.
Where in the world could you find something totally and utterly without nuance, that has some internal sense of dynamics but ploughs on and charges ahead to its own rhythm always, relying on the relentlessness to sweep up cynics and fans alike? America of course. Blue Man Group might be one of the great American pop-cultural statements when you think about it in that way.
I loved it. Once again.
In fact I possibly enjoyed the show more this time – a couple of newer, better skits. But also last time I had a 6mo child back in a hotel with a babysitter. So I had that first-few-times-out parental anxiety. This time I had a 4.5yo demon back in the hotel and this was my imposed time out. Magic!