Blue Man Group has been shocking its audiences for years with live performances at theaters in New York, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. The act began touring in concert arenas during the summer of 2002 at the Area 2 Festival with Moby, David Bowie, Busta Rhymes and world-renowned DJs. This past summer, Blue Man Group embarked on a summer tour and filmed two sold-out shows on Aug. 12 and 13 at the NextStage Amphitheatre in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The national tour promoted “The Complex” album and an audience demand allowed for the Blue Man Group’s first-ever concert DVD to be released Nov. 25, presenting highlights from the Grand Prairie shows and other features.
The central theme of “The Complex Rock Tour Live” DVD is a “blue” print of Blue Man Group’s rock concert utopia. In the Blue Man world, the band’s complex is a geometric and logical plan for bringing people together through music, using visuals of two-dimensional stick figures, unconventional uses of sounds and instruments and surprises that are completely unpredictable.
In addition to footage from the live concerts, the DVD includes music videos for “Sing Along” featuring Dave Matthews, “The Current” featuring Gavin Rossdale and “Exhibit 13,” which serves as a chilling tribute to the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
The “Sing Along” video is visually clever, with morphing stick figures and exploding orange paint, but although the overall package of the music and images is appealing, the vocals seem repetitive and annoying. Including Gavin Rossdale in “The Current” video is interesting, and it adds a harder rock sound for Blue Man, cutting between one set of a futuristic technology office and a warehouse loft with piping, wiring and flashy lighting.
The DVD layout has a very clean look, similar to that of the iMac. The table of contents is a webbing of features that, when selected, changes the perspective of the “blue print” cityscape and enter a different window, door or sewer-opening depending on the selection.
As far as content, the live performance will keep viewers glued to the screen with a sensational collaboration of vibrant images and unusual sounds. In addition to special guest vocalists Venus Hum (on the energetic Donna Summer cover “I Feel Love”) and Tracy Bonham, the show is comical, dramatic and highly interactive with audience members. Numerous cuts to audience reactions prove that this show is like none other.
Perhaps new viewers and fans without expectations make this art form a treasure of the Blue Man Group; it is the live entertainment experience of the MTV generation. With the success of theater and arena shows as well as two studio recordings prior to the DVD, Blue Man Group will open a show in Berlin in May 2004.
For more information on tours and multimedia, visit http://www.blueman.com.