If your favorite part of a football game is when the marching band takes the field, then you're going to love Blast. Think of the most rousing, in-sync band that you ever saw, turn them way up, add cool costumes and a blac... more »k-and-white checkered stage with colored spotlights, throw in a good helping of the Stomp vibe, and you've got Blast. Color is the theme that threads the different musical pieces together. Beginning with Ravel's Bolero, the audience is pulled into this new music/dance/theatre experience as the band takes the stage marching, twirling, and weaving. The performers aren't simply musicians--they dance, sing, act, and play their brass and drums. "Loss," in the Blue section of the color wheel, is particularly touching. Even the flag team--a very sexy and talented flag team--is represented. The Green section melds into a sober and lovely rendition of "Simple Gifts," then concludes quietly with Copland's Appalachian Spring. In the black light of "Battery Battle," you're pulled into the rhythm of the lone drummer, then dueling snare drums, and finally a row of energetic, blindfolded drummers who never miss a beat. "Medea" combines movement and music in a dramatic interpretation of Samuel Barber's piece, and, set to a dance-club beat, "Lemon Techno" is a flurry of yellow flags, poles, and sensuous movement. A spectacularly sultry "Malaguena" drenched in red ends the program. It's easy to see why Blast is a PBS favorite. It's an amazing new type of performance--one that every high school marching band member will want to emulate. Included here is a 25-minute documentary, Music in Motion: The Making of Blast, which takes you behind the scenes to the conception of the show and into the ensemble's homes and lives as they perform in London's West End. --Dana Van Nest« less
"I watched this tape a few weeks before I saw the actual show in Bloomington, and although the two were somewhat different, both were WELL worth the time and money spent. I was a little apprehensive when I first heard about the production, "A Drum Corps show on an auditorium stage? Riiight." But, being a fan I went ahead and gave it a chance just to see. Almost needless to say, I was blown away. The show on the video was a work of creative genius. My hat is off once again to Jim Mason and Bill Cook for their ever-outstanding work. I recommend this show, video or live to anyone interested in theatre, music, Drum Corps, marching band, or just having a blast (pardon the pun). There is really nothing like this out there, but the closest comparison I can make would be Stomp (with winds and a guard) or a full out DCI show... An awesome experience!"
The DVD Version
Rob Poe | Mission, KS United States | 05/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just received my DVD version of Blast! The Show. If you've seen the VHS version (or on PBS, during their fund raisers), then you haven't SEEN Blast!. They've mixed it in Dolby 5.1, the sound on the DVD is awesome. They were careful about the sound levels, so that the soft parts were soft - the loud parts loud - with no clipping (over loudness). This release really shows off the DVD's capabilities. The picture is FABULOUS! None of the VHS tape limitations on quality are evident. It is crisp and superb!The behind the scenes special feature is very interesting. As a musician, I appreciate ALL of the technical things that the performers exhibit while on stage. I *strongly* recommend the DVD version to any music enthusiast / home theater nut."
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 03/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ballet, modern dance, marching bands, drum and bugle corps, flag dancers, bell ringers, army drill teams and more are what you can expect from this original and fascinating visual display of music.This collection of music and movement does its best to avoid classification. There is simply nothing like it. Imagine seeing the following:A drum team with the precision of Riverdance
A trombone player riding a unicycle
Dancers dancing with giant blades of grass
Colorful flag throw across stage in musical precision
Officer Krupke done in a way that makes West Side Story look dull
A xylophonist playing while chasing his instrument
Drum rolls so fact the sound like bees
Beautiful ballet and precision dance while playing instruments
Swords and rifles used for dance and as drumsticks
Blindfolded drummer who change drum sets without missing a beat
Some of the best horn playing around
A dozen tubas gyrating to a rhumba beat
More more more...There are two themes that thread through all of the productions. The first is the use of color. Flags, lights, costumes and props take the production through the rainbow. The second is that these performers really love what they are doing. Just look at their faces.The camera work is well done. Angle change to show what is going on without being to spastic like in Lord of the Dance. There is even an intermission where several performers join the audience and use stools for drums.My only complaint is that some numbers are actually several pieces in a row without their own separate tracks. So when watching the drum battle, if you want to see the precision blindfolds, you will have to watch the pieces before it (at least until you set your own bookmarks).My whole family really loves this one from my wife and myself to my one-year-old and my four-year-old. The visuals are gripping and unbelievable. While the music itself is great, anyone who just gets the CD is really missing out."
Not just for band geeks
Brian's Dad | Los Gatos, CA United States | 05/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately, I must disagree with all the reviewers who write, "If you're in marching band, you'll love this DVD!" That is such limited praise that it almost insults the performers. Truth is, Blast! cuts across all lines of musicianship -- and nonmusicianship. I took my parents, my wife, and my 4-year old daughter (none of whom can toot a single note) to see the mini-version at Disney's California Adventure (Bolero, Land of Make Believe, Malaguena), and they were blown away. When we got home, I rented the DVD, and my daughter was up and dancing around throughout most of it. She told me afterward that she wants "to play a horn like that." Later she confided that she wanted to learn to "play the drums like that," too. I suppose there is little praise that is higher than that. To inspire another to take up the art that you have just presented. Get this DVD. When the touring company comes to your town (or nearby), go see it. You and your nonmusician friends and family will not be disappointed.So, why just four stars? I tive the performance 5 stars and more. The DVD lacks in sufficient special features. The insightful commentary track covers just 4 numbers out of 20. The "Making of Blast" featurette is better than most that you find on movie DVDs. There are more interviews with the performers here. Still, I would love to have seen more footage of show preparation and behind-the-scenes stuff."
BUY THIS VIDEO NOW!
suesmy | Old Portsmouth, HANTS United Kingdom | 12/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Blast! live on stage, and was thoroughly impressed by the whole thing. The performers (musicians and dancers alike) have an energy and spirit which is hard to capture fully on television or video. Although the VHS is nothing like the show, it is the very next best thing (still better than ANYTHING you will ever see again) and well worth buying. Sadly, as I live in the UK, I cannot watch this version of the show on my VCR. My only hope would be a DVD release, as I have a multi-region DVD player. People of America- You have no idea how lucky you are to be able to buy and watch this musical and performing arts phenomenon! I loved it, so will you!"