Round and Round: Boredoms perfect audience participation

On the numerically auspicious date of July 7, 2007, what may have been history's most elaborate drum circle took place in a park at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Organized by renowned Japanese underground band the Boredoms, 74 drummers with full kits formed a spiral, with three Boredoms drummers and bandleader/conductor Yamataka Eye at the center. For nearly two hours, this ad hoc percussive orchestra churned out a swirling soundstorm surrounded by some 4,000 audience members, many of whom subsequently called it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"It was a really spiritual thing; a lot of people were hugging afterward," recalls Aquarius Records co-owner Andee Connors, who was drummer number 58, right next to Andrew W.K. Other drummers included members of Tussle, Gang Gang Dance, Lightning Bolt, and No-Neck Blues Band. "Sounds would go out around the spiral," Connors said of the serpentine sonic event, dubbed 77 Boadrum. "It was kind of like a drum version of the game of Telephone. From the Brooklyn Bridge, you could maybe hear the whole movement of sound."

Boredoms do their hair "in the round."
Boredoms do their hair "in the round."

Details

Boredoms perform on Tuesday, March 18, at 8 p.m. Admission is $26.50; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info.
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While the event was a far cry from Boredoms' spastic yelp-noise of two decades ago, the Tokyo-based band's gradual drift into more transcendent dynamics has been fairly apparent in recent years, with albums like Super Roots 9 and live performances very much focused on hypnotic throb atmospherics. But there's still an element of unhinged Bore-adelics, with Eye making noises on everything from electric orbs to a seven-necked guitar rack aptly called the Sevena. The band's current tour continues the drum-circle concept, performing several shows (including the Fillmore) "in the round," with audience members free to wander circuitously around the band.

 
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