I have seen their posters somewhere, but I really wasn't in the mood for a percussion show, unless it comes with majorettes in short skirts, twirling their batons and balancing them between their dainty, manicured fingers.
Drumcat's poster showing ladies in black with drum sticks says it all: a show with lots of drum and a lot of drumming. But I really can't judge a show by its poster, can I? So, thanks to Korea Tourism Organization, the K-Performance Supporters group got free tickets to watch Drumcat one hot summer afternoon.
Well, one thing the poster didn't say was that, if there were lots of drums, there would be lots of noise. And gosh, my ear drums got a lot of earful from all the drumming.
There were six lady drummers, all in black tight shorts and pants, and one lady in red short dress with a violin. Yes, a violin! Which made me wonder, if this was supposed to be a percussion show, what was a string instrument doing here? I would have appreciated it if it were a Stradivarius violin though. But it wasn't; it was just an electronic violin. Oh, well.
Yes, it was an 'oh, well' show. Drumcat was a show with a lot of noise, but no creativity. Their brochure doesn't even say about the concept, except that it 'can get rid of your worries and troubles and stresses'. (Note: nobody even spell-checked their brochure. The word 'rid' was spelled 'ride'.). How can you get rid of your worries when it's all noisy around you?
The brochure also says the program was subdivided into Asia, Europe, America and Festival, but I couldn't even able to tell which part was which, as it was all drumming backed up by a loud pre-recorded rythmic music, which, if taken away, would have left just 70 minutes of noisy drumming interrupted by the sound of an electronic violin.
While I was impressed with two sections, wherein six ladies played each other's drums with precision performance just like those in military parades, the rest of the show was boring. Those glow-in-dark drum sticks were for kids, and the sections of the lady in violin was just another show-off part. She was in a way asking everyone, who of you can play Concierto de Aranjuez on the violin while prancing around the stage in high heels and short dress with long brown-dyed hair swaying and not missing a note?
And one of the most irritating effects was the flashing lights at the stage that was blinding to the eyes of the audience. I had to close my eyes when they flashed.
And as expected, there was a section for audience participation where audience members were only allowed to blow a whistle, which I think is a wind instrument, and were not picked to play a drum. Unlike another non-verbal show JUMP! where audience participation was funnier, this show's audience participation section merely lets a couple of audience members run around the hall while blowing whistles, which I'm not sure were actually washed from the saliva of the previous day's users. Eeew!
It would have been fun if that section taught audience members how to use a percussion instrument.
Understandably, a few shouts of 'bee-yoo-tee-pool!' that I heard during the show came from a couple of male audience members of a certain age. I guess they liked those head tosses that went along with the beat.
Was watching Drumcat worth it? Nah. This show needs more creativity. But I guess this show is lucky that some tour operators have decided to bring their international tourists to watch Drumcat as its captive audience.
But for me, I should have gone to Namsangol, which was just about ten minutes away by foot (Exit 3 of Chungmuro Station), to watch the free performances of a Korean fan dance and a jaw-dropping (and not ear-drum breaking!) demonstration of Taekwondo.
Now, I need some quiet time. My abused ear drums need to rest.
(Drumcat is performed at MyungBo Art Hall, which is about 200 meters from Exit 8 of Euljiro 3-ga Station).