The Blue Man Group with Mike Relm: The Tried and True, with Somebody New
J. Gordon
4/8/2008 12:28:16 PM

There’s been quite a buzz, even among the non-DJ music types, about Mike Relm. Rest assured, the buzz is deserved. This young Japanese-American, in his hip beige suit and spectacles, has a charisma and style all his own. A fine choice by the Blue Men as opener, although… dare we say it? His show was nearly as entertaining as the headliners, with some seriously cool grooves, to boot.

Taking turntables into a whole new (forgive me, it’s just too easy) realm, this guy’s a master at merging sound and film, exploiting a sonic moment or tweaking a scene to repeat with the beats. And it’s funny stuff! Clips from Office Space, professional wrestling, and Led Zeppelin live are layered and switched with tracks from Jackson 5 to Beastie Boys to Josie and the Pussycats—and everything in between.

As the affable, unassuming Relm stood tiny at his turntables beneath the Scott Trade Center’s giant screen, viewers had to believe this enormous venue is just an idea of what he’s about—the clubs are definitely the place to catch this guy live.

How does Mike Relm do what he does? It’s impossible to tell from the far-away stage and big screen zoom-ins. He doesn’t ever appear to change LPs, and didn’t seem to be switching tapes, CDs, or DVDs either. If you like having fun with your sound and film, Relm’s the one to catch—and watch—closely.

The Blue Man Group’s “How To Be A Megastar v. 2.1” does not disappoint. That would be impossible, as the humor, talent, and coolness are the building blocks of this touring production. Like their foolproof guidebook with step-by-step instructions, they’ve clearly nailed the formula for the Big Rock Show. However, something’s wrong when after five years they are still doing the exact same show. The only real modification to the tour is that we’ve lost the cool accompanying guests. The first couple of times, Tracy Bonham and Venus Hum really added a kick to the BMG songs with their vocals-- and Venus Hum’s Annette Strean, singing “I Feel Love” in that lit rainbow dress, was the funniest, most gorgeous thing seen on stage in a decade. This time around, they’ve got a couple of talented singers to fill their shoes, but the guest-star personalities we’ve been previously treated to have been stripped, flattening the show a bit.

What else can be said? Amazing lights? Check. Awesome band? Check. Funny, talented blue men interacting with the audience? Paint, Streamers, Smart and sassy messages and texting games throughout? Check, check, check, and check. For the show in detail, read our last review, and the one from the year before that, and before that.

If you’ve never seen the Blue Man Group, you must—they are worth every penny. But if you’ve already caught them two or three times, let’s wait ‘til they retire Megastar and try something new.


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