Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 12 January 2013 21:24

STOMP-a galvanizing galvanized Armageddon

Written by Steve Callahan
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Cresswell & McNicholas
  • Dates: January 11-13, 2013
STOMP-a galvanizing galvanized Armageddon
stomponline.com

Why do humans have that opposed thumb?  Well, I realized last night that the obvious and true purpose of that useful digit is so that we can grab a stick and pound on things!  Humans just LOVE to pound on things!  Of course, over the millennia we have regularly and vigorously and joyously pounded on each other—but our real love is for pounding on stuff that makes a “BOOM!”  You can’t keep us from doing it.  We’ll pound on anything.  Just put a toddler, a pan and a wooden spoon together and you’ll see what I mean.

STOMP is playing at the Fox this week, and it’s a veritable apotheosis of percussion.   And it’s such fun!  I’d missed their appearance at the Fox a couple years ago, and let me tell you, last night was well worth the wait.

This energetic, inexhaustible troupe of six men and two women present a vast array of bangs and clangs and booms and stomps that would make a very corpse sit up and tap its toes.  Remember the time when Buddy Rich, on The Muppet Show, said, “When I play a theatre, I play the theatre,”—and then proceeded to drum on the proscenium, the walls, the floor?  Well, the amazingly gifted percussionists in STOMP pursue that course.  They drum on everything.  

Time and again we see a rhythm develop gradually from a simple tapping—that one might do in an idle moment—to a gorgeously complex poly-rhythm involving the entire company. 

Play is what this evening is all about.  They play with an incredible variety of potentially percussible stuff—push-brooms, dust-pans, a vast array of pots and pans, radiator hoses, corrugated drainage tubing, steel and plastic drums, pails, basketballs, huge inner-tubes, shopping carts.  And yes, even kitchen sinks!  And, would you believe, Zippo lighters?  All of this is done with wonderful imagination and with superb musical and dancing skills.  Often the entire company is dancing and drumming and whirling with simply stunning precision.  One number features the use of long poles whacked together, with the whole company moving and spinning;  it’s like a circus-tempo Morris dance blended with a dazzlingly fast battle with quarter-staves.  (I hate to think of all the knuckles cracked while this was being perfected.)

In contrast, some of the numbers are almost delicate—as when the instruments are just crumpled newspapers or simply random bits of trash.  The dance with push-brooms combines the soft sound of brushes with the sharp knocks of wood against the floor.  Some of the wilder drumming has a distinctly African feel—with fierce, irresistible rhythms combined with ecstatically flailing legs and arms and hair.

More than a few musical performances at the Fox are painfully over-amplified.  But for most of this evening I had no sense that the drumming was amplified at all—it was just exhilarating.   But then, as the whole cast clambered up onto the scaffolding to pound on the huge collection of pots and pans that hung there, I was hit with a barrage of strongly amplified “THUDs,” like those sky-shattering bombs on the 4th of July.  Large plastic drums were being mercilessly pounded.   But strangely the sound was utterly painless to my ears;  it went straight to my spine and shook it most wonderfully!

Of course the signature number in STOMP is the one with garbage cans.  It’s unforgettable.  Everybody is dancing and banging and crashing like some crazy galvanized Armageddon.  One beautifully muscled young man does a fast crouching dance flourishing and crashing two can lids.  It has a strange ancient Meso-American feel to it—like an Aztec warrior doing a frenzied sacrificial dance, his silver shields glinting and flashing in the sun.

The whole show is laced with humor, and clearly all concerned—on both sides of the footlights—are having a terrific time.

When STOMP comes to town again give yourself a treat and go see it.  It’s one hundred and ten non-stop minutes of sheer delight.
 

Additional Info

  • Director: Cresswell & McNicholas
  • Dates: January 11-13, 2013

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

KDHX Recommends

July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


August
Saturday
02

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014 The Aching Hearts are the husband and wife duo of Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells (host of Steam-Powered Radio on 88.1 KDHX), who recently released the CD "Just a Habit." Join them and KDHX for a morning of classic, old-time...


August
Wednesday
06

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange KDHX presents Mandolin Orange as part of the Discovery Series on Wednesday August 6 at 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina-based duo combines bluegrass, rock and country, providing a modern take on age-old styles. Tickets available...


Online Users

4 users and 8282 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook