We Went Back: Chrono Man to Play Encore Performance this Friday at Plush
The first Chrono Man performance was a spectacle. Volcanoes' Eric Peters and Jon Ryan played deliberate renditions of Brumley's Chrono Man score. They jutted from new wave to hardcore arrangements as Phillips bellowed a sonorous vocal performance -- an impressive feat for a man decked out in spandex and chunky gold armor. There were Sexy Robot dancers to interpret the story of a man woken from a thousand-year sleep. His slumber was interrupted by the dire need to vanquish the Scientist, played by Nee's Kristin Dennis, whose sole goal was to snuff out the eternal joy of music. The trombone choir sounded the alarm.
Dots Not Feathers' Jessica Haley, Katie Brooking and Stephen Baier belted with Phillips, ready to stand by his side in the fight against the Scientist. "Afterwards, I was still reeling," Phillips begins. "Anytime I think about it, it hits a super warm spot. Afterwards, getting changed and taking my time and thinking, 'OK, everyone has forgotten about it and everyone is just partying.' Then I walk outside to smoke a cigarette and 95 people just start screaming, 'CHRONOMAN! CHRONOMAN!' People gave me drinks and hugs."
Brumley begins to squirm and his lips press into a tight smile as he listens to Phillips, and adds, "I have never been in any musical experience like that. Even the Under Cover Weekend shows, which are pretty rowdy, not even close. It was completely overwhelming." He continues, "My whole thing was, let's just make it good and feel good about it and then it wouldn't really matter. That's kind of how I feel about this performance. As long as it sounds good and we play our best, regardless of how many are in attendance. I just want it to be good for the people that are there."
For those who attend the encore performance, expect several changes. "We have added one dancer. We added five singers: Ryan Myers, Nick Beary, Ashley Jemes, Hope Goodin and David Robert Wright. That was the one thing that felt lacking the last time. The chorus didn't feel big. I really wanted an operatic chorus this time," Brumley says. During rehearsal, the addition of the five singers is palpable. "We are adding a lighting show. Will Godfred, who does the light show for Nee, will be doing lights for us. We're enhancing the sound and enhancing the visuals from the first time around. It's planned this time around."
Both Brumley and Phillips hope Chrono Man inspires other local musicians to explore their performance options. "It's easy for bands to fall into some kind of conventional form. What attracted me to this, not only because a lot of us were brought up in theater, and doing Chrono Man is a way to revisit that, is for people to say, 'Let's try a mixed media,'" Phillips starts. Chrono Man incorporates theater, music, dance, stage production and costume design. "It's so easy in this city to say, 'OK, we're a band, let's play shows.' I think that is really important, but I also think it is really interesting to say, 'All right, let's try something completely different, maybe take a risk. Get out of comfort zones and see where it goes.' This is just a really crazy example of that, where it all came together and worked so well. I hope other people find ways to combine other art forms. It should inspire people. We can all talk about St. Louis and what it means to make music here and what it should be doing...never mind all that. Do it."
Continue to page three for more.