Congress hosts ritual drums

By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily Wildcat

There's really only one way for the adventurous to initiate the Halloween festivities: the tribal experience of San Diego's Crash Worship.

It's difficult to describe a Crash Worship performance for the inexperienced. Bizarrely painted and nearly naked band members relentlessly pound out mind-numbing rhythms on thick skinned drums, channeling their energy to the band's dancers who weave patterned circles of fire through the crowd. Scented smoke wafts endlessly

through the air, sometimes accompanied by water, wine or powdered sugar. People collectively dance in Dionysian abandon for hours.

The band has played in Tucson on a regular basis for the past few years, usually on or around Halloween. The intensely ritualized performances have strange effects on people, and past Tucson shows have seen large portions of the audience shed their clothing to join the dancing, or swing precariously from the high roof rafters at the Downtown Performance Center, swaying dangerously in time to Crash Worship's blend of drum terrorism.

The music, composed by three or more drummers, two vocalists, reverberating guitar and endless tape loops, intensely drives people into circles of wildly dancing and marching energy. There's little room for wallflowers here . the music and performance will strip away any inhibitions people may have.

Unfortunately, fire regulations have forced Crash Worship out of their usual haunt, the DPC, but the show will go on this year at Club Congress, albeit without fire. As the space considerations have changed, it should be interesting to see how the show will change. Not to mention what will happen when the show takes place in an alcohol-laden bar.

Crash Worship plays Club Congress at 7 p.m. tonight with local performance artists Then Tingari and Fierce Bad Rabbit kicking things off. Tickets are $7.

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