Houston audiences are tough audiences, no doubt. I've spent half my life performing in front of them and it takes quite a bit of talent to get them on your side, though I'm happy to say that once you do they're the best. Still, even with 15 years of that under my belt, I'm not sure if I would have the cojones to ply my trade in front of a day-care audience.
I'm not Secret Broadcast. These wacky rock Canadians decided to see how their music would hold up under the scrutiny of the most honest critics in the world, young children, with "Raygun" off of the Hungry Ghost EP. Normally I pass over performance videos as lazy, but as I pointed out with the bloodfest that was Is Tropical's "The Greeks" adding kids to the mix makes a whole new kind of cocktail.
By any standard, the kids got into it. It's every musician's dream to see their music inspire movement. Though a few of them start in tears, there is something damn magical about the first little girl that decides to get up and just unabashedly begin a twirly little dance that spurs others to follow suit. It's a weirdly innocent moment amid the mature rock sound that Secret Broadcast is putting out.
"There's something hilarious about the thought of a loud rock band playing for a bunch of 3-year-olds," says director Josh Warburton. "As soon as our drummer, Keith [Heppler], thought of the concept we knew it would make for an interesting video. The great thing about this video is that the kids' natural reactions were caught on film.
"The shots that would typically be unusable during a shoot involving children, like kids either crying or looking disinterested, ended up turning into the best footage," he adds. "It was somewhat of a challenge to set up the shoot, but I think our persistence in finding the right location paid off."
No argument there. Though this column tends to wax philosophically over every damn lighting cue in a music video as if I was trying to puzzle out a David Lynch plot, sometimes it's nice to watch bands just throw caution to the wind and reimagine the performance video.
It's not the deepest thing ever filmed, but it's short, sweet, and if the kids dig it it can't be too bad. After all, when has a 3-year-old ever shown restraint in complaining about the quality of anything?
"It actually was a lot of fun," said vocalist/guitarist Matt Lightstone. "Kids are pretty honest with their emotions. They'll cry if they hate something and dance if they like a particular song. It was a refreshing change of pace, although I think we'll still focus on playing for an older fan base.
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Nonetheless, Lightstone added that if you feel the desire to bring your kids to one of their concerts, they'd be perfectly happy to try their best to get them dancing again. Check out the video below.