Back in the 1960s and '70s, you had guys like Mark Boyle who'd make already-epic concerts by bands like Pink Floyd even more unforgettable and psychedelic. Boyle and other experimental artists produced live liquid-light shows that filled the stage with trippy, amorphous waves of color. With the aid of projectors and slides, they'd mix various oils and other colored-liquid concoctions, improvising along with the music and adding a visual layer to the live-music experience.
These days, live liquid-light shows have pretty much been replaced with modern video jockeys who use Macs and software to create the same effect.
“But we don't do anything digital,” said Josh Bohannon, who, with his buddy Ake Arndt, has brought the traditional liquid-light show back under the moniker Operation: Mindblow.
“We emulate the older guys from the '60s and '70s, but they kept their secrets pretty close to them so we had to do a lot of experimenting,” Bohannon said.
Now two-and-a-half years into it, the two say they've gotten pretty good. Both musicians, they mix everything live and keep up with the changes in the music by using air pumps and four to six projectors.
“We really try to get into what the band's doing and be on time with them so it enhances the show,” Bohannon said.
Operation: Mindblow will perform Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15, at the Brainbomb 2 Festival, which kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13, at Tin Can Alehouse and continues Friday at Til-Two Club and Saturday at Soda Bar.
Brainbomb organizer Frank Melendez says he had one rule when booking the shows.
“I told the bands that the only requirement was they can't play any of their songs,” Melendez said. “It's all about improvised music and visuals.”