Break Out The Stovepipe Hats And The Fishnets. A Burning Man Band Is Coming To Town.
Thursday, December 5, 2002
You''ve probably never heard anything like this before, unless you''ve been to another one of their shows. This is a band with a mission to make you think, make you groove and make you come back for more.
Burn the Man is an ensemble of mostly percussion, makers of rhythms they label "sambaheggae"-a mix of Brazilian samba, reggae and house music. They''re an upbeat dance band with an international feel, which would be interesting enough even if they didn''t assume stage names and dress in costume when they are performing. The lineup varies, but the six members of Burn the Man coming to town this week are The Mad Scientist on rhythm and vocals; Tica on voice, keyboards and percussion; Dave Roda on drums; Tony Orlando on djembe and congas; DJ Bean taking care of the scratching; and singer/guitarist Rico Son.
The moment of the band''s inception speaks volumes. Rico and the Mad Scientist met in a drum circle at the Decompression Party following Burning Man 2001 and, inspired by the incredible experience they''d just had, decided to make a band, a sound and an experience all their own. Spilling over with the ideals of self-expression and awash in strong dance beats based on as many musical forms as they could muster, they gathered other like-minded folk and set about making something different and new.
Their shared vision seems to have worked out for them. Last year they were inspired by the Burning Man Festival. This year they performed at it.
In the year since the band Burn the Man was formed, a lot of things have changed. "We''re definitely going somewhere," says Rico, known in the real world as Kevin Dorn, "but we have a lot of fun. Our whole thing is about expression-expressing ourselves and encouraging the audience to express themselves in any way they want."
The band begins each show by leading an impromptu parade down whatever street it''s playing on. Onlookers and the band''s entourage are welcome to join the band in expressing, through dance or singing, anything they''re feeling at that moment. As the song "Naughty Nice" declares, "Burn the Man is an everybody thing..."
The costumes the band members wear change according to mood, occasion and theme. Colors and styles can vary radically from one show to another, with no limits or guidelines. They wear what they want, play what they want and dance how they want, and they encourage their fans to do the same. Says Rico, "If they wanna get up on the table and dance, we definitely encourage that behavior."
Burn the Man plays Club Octane, 321 Alvarado, Monterey on Thursday and at Viva, 414 Alvarado, Monterey this Friday at 9pm.