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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tucson’s Fire Starters

    EVAN CARAVELLI / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Members of the Street Performance and Incendiary Arts club perform behind the Student Union Memorial Center with their blazing acrobatics.
    EVAN CARAVELLI / Arizona Daily Wildcat Members of the Street Performance and Incendiary Arts club perform behind the Student Union Memorial Center with their blazing acrobatics.

    Tucson Spotlight

    The pungent smell of propane lingered in the dark Tucson night as a parade of flamethrowers marched out in mysterious tribal fashion.

    Flam Chen, the highly animated pyrotechnic theater troupe, took over the parking lot of Nimbus Brewery on Saturday night to perform its fire combat version of a video game called “”Kaboom,”” mimicking the popular video game “”Mortal Kombat.””

    Tucson-based Flam Chen started their circus tactics after three hours of live electronica music that blasted from the brewery’s building. The audience was a mixture of wild ravers and middle-aged couples, both out for a night of fiery entertainment.

    The luring fire that lit up the stage was mesmerizing and electrifying. Flam Chen gave an astounding performance where characters combated each other with weapons set on fire.

    Saturday’s performance started with a disclaimer, stating one very valid line; “”Do not try this at home.”” It’s risky enough being a spectator only a few feet away, let alone setting things on fire at home. Flam Chen’s ability to push things to the limit proves their unique pyrotechnic talent.

    One fan in the crowd waited all night to get a good seat for Flam Chen’s “”Kaboom”” show.

    “”It’s hard to explain, but I love watching them perform, they are good at what they do,”” said Greg Macleod, an Arizona Research Labs assistant.

    Macleod knew about Flam Chen’s “”Kaboom”” event from a flyer posted at Epic Cafe, 745 N. Fourth Ave. Macleod, an Australia native who has been living in Tucson for the past two years, has attended Flam Chen’s performances before and is fascinated watching the performers work so well with the blazes of fire.

    Minutes before the troupe took stage, the crowd became more anxious and loud in joyful anticipation of the performance that would light up the night.

    Flam Chen performed with a troupe of 15, all dressed as various video game characters, such as “”Kill Jill,”” “”Monkey King,”” and most amusing, “”The Mighty Hermaphrodite”” who had three breasts and male reproductive parts, that were, not surprisingly, set on fire.

    After the high-intensity combat scenes, the group came together for a grand finale. All the characters swung chains with fiery balls attached, in complete sync with the music.

    The passion is undeniably apparent through the performers’ poise while handling fire. Forget waiting for the circus to come to town to see something extreme – a performance from Flam Chen will really set a night on fire.

    Flam Chen will be performing again this month at the Tucson Madonnari International Chalk Festival downtown. This daylong event will feature professional artists producing a large-scale mural in the Joel D. Valdez library plaza. Flam Chen will perform the act “”Checkmate”” as part of the festival. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information go to www.flamchen.com.

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