What to know about Blue Man Group heading into its collaborative performance with electronic music master Steve Aoki at Electric Daisy Carnival, which goes off at 4 a.m. Sunday morning (or late-late Saturday) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
• The overriding directive Aoki presented to BMG Creative Director Michael “Puck” Quinn was, “Anything goes! Put my life in danger — even better!” As Quinn said, “He’s a riot, really fun to work with.”
• Some of the props used in the performance are brand-new to BMG, being tested for the first time, Quinn says. “I don’t want to give away all the goods, but we’re trying stuff we’ve never used before.”
• The partnership began taking form at the beginning of the year. “The first time he and I made contact was in January of this year, but the idea was bubbling around at the end of last year, because he was superexcited about Vegas and superexcited about working with us,” Quinn says.
• The collaboration might lead to similarly inventive onstage fusions when Blue Man Group opens at Monte Carlo in the fall, after its run at Venetian closes. “The truth is, we do a lot of that outside of the theater, like what we’re doing at Electric Daisy. Last year we did a big performance at Carnival in Brazil, and performed with a big Brazilian artist down there. We’ve had stuff with so many different people — with Robin Williams and Mel Gibson, screwing around with Dave Matthews and at the Hollywood Bowl with the orchestra there. We have a lot of that going on already but have never thought about putting it on the stage, and that is a possibility,” Quinn says.
• Quinn says the rave scene can be an all-ages experience, with a boost from such collaborations as Aoki-BMG. “People say, ‘Wow, you’re performing at Electric Daisy? Isn’t that an electronic festival?’ It’s a perfect match because we just like to make big synthesized music and perform it acoustically. It’s a little like how you would present the rave culture to your aunt or grandmother — what would happen if you took your grandmother to a rave?”
• Quinn knows a little about what would happen. “I took my grandmother to our show, years ago. She was 85 at the time, and she walked out and said, “I don’t know what just happened, but I sure had a good time!’ So we can check off the senior demographic — we’ve got that covered.”