Blue Man Group, Florida

Blue Man Group – The Drummer Mutler Aspires To Be

Matt Butler

Next to writing, percussion is my all-time biggest passion. As you are aware by now, I am a drummer in a band (Before This Silence, check out our page). Comedy is my favourite genre of film and, well, anything really. I also talk too much.

So, imagine my surprise when my parents told me they had booked me a ticket to watch the Blue Man Group in universal Florida; a comedy percussion show with non-speaking performers, blending my biggest passion and favourite genre. At first I was sceptical. How can you possibly mix the two together…? But after talking to my girlfriend about it (who had already seen the show) and watching the trailer for it, I soon realised that the percussion was only a small factor in the overall act. Then I realised that my own playing could do with being more of what The Blue Man Group actually is about: performance. I could make it more interesting to watch me play. So, I was excited to see them. What did I have to lose? I wasn’t paying for it.

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The first thing that I found hilarious was the fact that the Blue Man Group were actually men in blue paint (see the picture!). The closest I ever got to painting myself was when I dressed as an Oompa Loompa at school, and the time I wore makeup for ALS. You don’t want to see that. Really, you don’t. It’s not good. I was told I would look good in drag and I disagree immensely. But I am going off topic here. Wearing paint or adopting a stage persona could be a thing to consider when I next play with my band, dressing up in a goofy way and surprising them to how good I am.

The comedy aspect started before the show even began, taking the absolute mickey out of those people who came to watch the show. For example, a random member of the audience was chosen to sing the national anthem to their horror (after all the Americans are very patriotic) – although they were ultimately spared from the embarrassment.

When the show actually started, the range of comedy was vast and varied. The main idea behind much of it was the ‘outsider’ mentality, involving one of the three Blue Men performing in a manner different from the other two, surprising them. Like me in pretty much EVERY possible way; it was as though they were taking it in turns to be ‘the Mutler’ of the group. They also had skits where they were constantly surprised by things from modern society and by the audience. The three attempted to make a romantic meal using Twinkies as the food!

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The stage is ready; the audience is not.

From a drummer’s standpoint, the music and percussion really got going. They had a section where they attempted to put on a rock show by following ‘rules’ from the Rock Concert Instruction Manual, believing it to be the expectation of the rock scene. The one thing I’ve learnt is that are no rules in concerts and shows, just routine and improvisation at points. This show further highlighted this.

Truthfully, this article doesn’t really do the show justice on how AMAZING it was. They never spoke and yet my cheeks were sore from laughing so much at the end. Everything was done over the top and it opened my eyes on how to be a better performer: MORE. MUTLER. IS. REQUIRED.

This experience has shaped my ideas for ‘rocking’ out better and putting on a more enjoyable performance at gigs. The next time Before This Silence play at a gig, watch me. I’ll guarantee you I’ll have put on a persona based on what the Blue Man Group did. In any case, I’ll have this blue lighter in my pocket to help me lighten up these dark and dingy places with comic performances.

Editor: Floss Hafter-Smith

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