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Blue Man Group an extravaganza

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BLUE MAN GROUP, Delta Center, Monday

Blue Man Group's "How to Be a Superstar 2.0" is the equivalent of those "Dummies" books. In this case, the book would be "Rock Stars for Dummies."

The audience was told exactly what to do — clap hands, stomp feet, scream, bob heads, pump fists.

The funniest provided instructions on how to make "devil horns" with the index and pinky fingers, although it wasn't called "devil horns" here. The hand sign was called "Banjo the Clown," because the fingers resembled Banjo's moussed hair.

During the show, the Blue Men are seduced by a videotaped informercial hawking a "How to Be a Superstar" handbook. The Blue Men order the book and follow the instructions while playing with their band.

The band, as suggested by an audio-taped snippet from the "How to Be a Superstar" handbook, also plays bits and pieces of such musical influences as Devo's "Whip It," Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird." Other songs included Pink Floyd's "One of These Days" and the Who's "Baba O'Riley," as well as Donna Summers' "I Feel Love."

A keyboardist/vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and two percussionists follow the Blue Men, who play percussion on plastic tubes and the coils of a ripped-up piano, the audience is treated to a sight-and-sound extravaganza.

Music rang loud and clear in the Delta Center as the performance unfolded.

The guys in blue got the audience's attention by not talking or singing. Former Riot Grrrl Tracy Bonham, who served as the opening act, was one of the BMG Band's vocalists.

But the Monday show demonstrated that a Blue Man Group show is more than a music concert. It's a theatrical-concept performance that pokes fun at — and pays homage to — such rock stars as Motley Crue, David Bowie and Marilyn Manson.

What's more, the show is very family-friendly. There are no bad words and no suggestive overtones.

It's just good clean fun.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com