Monday, April 5, 2010

Blue Man Group: Baba O'Riley

Every Monday, I feature a cover tune as it is difficult on a Monday morning to get out of bed for the first day of the work week and today is no exception. I stumbled upon this little number by the Blue Man Group doing a fantastic job of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

These guys are fantastic and I love the tuned percussion made from PVC pipe and what appears to be vacuum cleaner hoses doing the synthesizer parts at the beginning of the song. The prepared piano soundboard and harp add to the song. It appears that the strings in the three sections are all tuned in predetermined fifths of F and C, C and G, Bb and F.

Vocalist Tracy Bonham does a pretty good job on the vocals; however, she is no Roger Daltry – but who besides Roger Daltry is? Her violin skills are impeccable. There is another cut on You Tube where the performance is a little better from everyone’s perspective; however, the sound quality is not as good. I always defer to sound quality when I can.

When I was in Vegas two years ago, the convention I was attending was at the Venetian where the band performs; however, time was tight and I didn’t get to see them. I did, however, visit their store and considered buying a souvenir, but the prices were a little out of my range for a used drum head.

Looking down the Strip toward the Venetian

Outside the Venetian

The shopping area inside the Venetian (the sky is painted)

Live Version by The Who

Those who watch CSI New York will be familiar with this tune as it’s the show’s theme song. I am not sure when this was performed, but it had to be before September 1978 as Keith Moon is still alive. Dave Arbus from East of Eden played the violin on the studio version from “Who’s Next”; however, on tour, Roger Daltry plays harmonica as he does on this version.

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