Bluebrain, the experimental duo of brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay, is known for amazing, bizarre performances.Tonight, they're going for something even more amazing and bizarre than usual when they open up for the Dismemberment Plan at Black Cat. Expect a horn section, live painting, visual projections, and custom backpack pieces from the D.C. area-based group of artists Floating Lab Collective.
"It should be interesting," Ryan Holladay says. "We've been wanting to work with horn players for a while, and this was a cool opportunity to do it."
The three-piece horn section of JD Slaughter, Will Pattie, and, Peter Ketcham-Colwill will join the Holladays, who will be wearing "these crazy backpacks, designed by Floating Lab Collective, that look like something out of Dr. Seuss," Holladay says. "Each has two horns that look like they're coming out of our heads—it's bizarre. There's gonna be a lot of brass onstage."
Holladay, who is also a curator at Artisphere, says he saw images of the "screamer" portable speaker pieces Floating Lab Collective used in its Scream at the Economy project, and reached out to them to see if they'd collaborate with Bluebrain on something similar. "I thought they looked so awesome, and it would be great to be playing with a horn section and wearing these. I didn't think they’d go for it, but they liked the idea."
After the horn section does its thing during the first few songs, they'll take off, and a group of painters (Arijit Das, Chuck Soo-Hoo, Victor Koroma, and nine-year-old Stella Magee) will take to the stage.
"Some of our artist friends will come out, and they're going to paint on these two white podiums that are part of the stage setup," Holladay says. "They'll be painting on them and drawing on them. That's another variable, so we'll see how it goes."
And finally, rounding out the performance, is Josh Vaile, doing visual projections. "There will definitely be a lot of people represented on stage," Holladay says.