Blue Man Group Is Hosting a ‘Drum Off’

Percussionists will go drum-to-drum on stage and try to impress the crowd.

Image Courtesy of Blue Man Group

Image Courtesy of Blue Man Group

Five percussionists are getting the chance to bang their drums harder than the bald-headed brothers of the Blue Man Group next weekend in front of a large crowd. And while it’s highly unlikely that their acts will involve Twinkies, they can still try and impress attendees with their skills.

The blue-hued group, whose strange and peculiar performances includes segments where they pound on PCV pipes with Ping-Pong paddles, and slam drumsticks down on paint-covered oil barrels, is hosting a special competition which will take place in front of a live audience during the Summer Arts Weekend on July 26 and 27.

For weeks, officials behind the “drum-off” have been sifting through video submissions from more than two-dozen people who yearned for the opportunity to take the stage for a two-minute drum solo during the event series in Copley Square.

Contest organizers said Thursday that they’ve narrowed down their contestants from a pool of pretty creative audition tapes.  “We are going to do some more viewing, and then we will narrow it down to 15 semi-finalists. Then we are going to have them come into the theater for a performance, and then pick the five who will perform in Copley on Saturday,” said Randy Wooten, who plays the drums in the three-piece band that performs alongside the Blue Man Group at the Charles Playhouse. “It’s a wide array of talent and age. The youngest is 14-years-old, the oldest is 51. And it’s a wide variety of abilities.”

The judges were looking for creative and skillful drummers to advance to the stage for a chance to win a prize package valued at over $4,000 from BMG, Guitar Center, DW Drums, Sabian and Vic Firth.

“One kid painted himself blue, another had glowing sticks. Definitely some creative factors involved in some of the videos we received, but I don’t know how it will translate live,” aid Wooten. “But it’s nice to see originality and creativity, and not just plain technique and chops—they add some showmanship.”

The cheers from the crowd is what will ultimately decide the winner on the day of the event, as contestants hammer on the drums for more than 90-seconds straight.

“It’s been a good turn out so far. We will have some good entrainment and drumming on that Saturday. There are definitely some stars shining,” said Wooten.

For more information about the drum-off and the Summer Arts Weekend, visit their website.