Bumbershoot Review: Wild Orchid Children Play So Hard, They Bleed

Who: Wild Orchid Children

Where: EMP Sky Church

When: 7:45 p.m., Monday

Wild Orchild Children frontman Kirk Huffman screams like Johnny Whitney and grinds on his American flag-draped mic stand like the sexy son of Tommy Gnosis and Elvis. Needless to say, this spectacle is absorbing. Or it was, until Hey Marseilles' cellist Sam Anderson startled me out of my stupor and pointed out that drummer Aaron Benson's got an assortment of hand drums -- even a dainty set of chimes -- in addition to the usual snare/bass sorts of suspects found in your average rock band's drum kit. He also has what looks like black electrical tape wrapped around his hands. "He plays the drums so hard he has to wrap his hands so they don't bleed when he play," Anderson says with reverence. This does not surprise me. In time with the grinding and bloody drumming and screaming, Thomas Hunter, the band's guitarist, is busting out guitar solos so difficult, it's hard to tell how one single person is playing them -- he may be one of the best guitarists I've ever seen. Every single person in the band, including keyboardist Kyle O'Quin and baritone guitarist Ryan Van Wierengen, was wailing on their instruments. Unfortunately, the crowd was not putting out the same amount of energy.

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