This angdao got me watching the BlueManGroup as well. For one its their entertaining stage performances, but to me that’s just the least of it. Two, there’s the music, derived from basic material such as pipes, exotic blending sounds and wonderful rhythm. There are stringed instruments and a swish-swosh stick, which you can see in the Sing Along MTV [1].

Then they have the innovative (and still humorous) way of using a head-in-a-box to bring the global warming [2] message across, especially on the emergency exits portion. Yet, that’s just the basic of what they can do, cos they then bring the show live with a TV on their head [3]. The concept is again exaggerated on a bigger scale in a later (or earlier?) ad [4].

Their innovation is demonstrated best in using extending pipes to create a trombone-like instrument, which they call the Drumbone [5]. Notice it still contains the abovementioned humor when they try to connect the pipes together. The connection to make a bigger Drumbone was rejected by turning the pipe to the side. Yet his attempts prevailed when he thought out of the box and brought the pipe down to connect to his own, thus creating a greater drumbone. It is also these innovation attempts that make their advertisements with Intel just as interesting. I’ll leave it to the next post to list the different ads that I found.

But ultimately what I think is really in them, is the philosophy behind the BMG. If you try and look at how they perceive the BMG, it explains how they feel to be “outside”. As an outsider [6], you are seen to be different. Is difference good? Currently, more people see it as a “misfit” than an attempt at “innovation”. When one of the Blue Man attempts to do something different, he is usually stared at by the other two, and he usually then joins back the “normal” two. Is this the same society we’re facing? Are attempts in “being different” accepted? By returning to be normal he has failed to make a difference and change the “society”. But the society accepts his failure and he becomes a regular Blue Man. He then challenges himself again and attempt another difference.

If we look back at the first song called Sing Along, the lyrics and MTV also suggest to me the same idea of acceptance and belonging.

If i sing a song,
will you sing along,
or should I just keep singing right here by myself?

“If I do or be different, will you join me? If you don’t should I still continue to do it?”

If I follow along,
does it mean I belong,
or will I keep on feeling different from everybody else?

“If I do the same as everyone else, does that MEAN I’m with everyone? But I know I’m different…”

And you can’t remain different, if Maslow’s needs hierarchy holds. It is a basic need to be accepted and feel belonging.

[1] Sing Along by Dave Matthews & Blue Man Group
[2] Earth to America
[3] Earth to America: Live
[4] Bluephoria Television Ad
[5] Drumbone: Live
[6] Outsiders
[7] Lyrics of Sing Along
[8] Wikipedia: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

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