It’s new student orientation time here at MSU and the grounds are packed with wide-eyed kids filled with nervous hopes of collegiate success. Something struck me today as I was sitting on campus enjoying the amazing weather and incredible scenery (read: new freshmen), and I began to lament growing older. Did you know that today’s incoming freshmen were born in 1990? Worse than being dangerously close to becoming that creepy dude entering his 6th welcome week is the fact that most of these kids have never experienced a birthday party with an animatronic band.
Animatronics were an important part of mine and many of my peers childhoods. Those of us who remember the 80’s remember when robots were just about the coolest things ever. We all had our Teddy Ruxpins and his various knockoffs, and Disneyland was too far away to be more than a once-every-few-years treat for most of us. Thankfully places like Chuck-E-Cheese, Major Magic’s, and Showbiz Pizza were around to fill the void. Pizza, arcade games, and lifesize robot bands were an incredible combination. I loved it and if you’re over 20 years old, you did too.
Now, 17 years after Showbiz closed its doors and powered down Billy Bob Bear, Chris Thrash and Aaron Fetcher are reviving the Rock-afire Explosion for a new generation of terror. Check out their amazing videos re-programming the band to play some of today’s hottest hits. This one is Usher’s “Love in this Club”, but click through to YouTube for more.
There is also a full-length documentary coming this fall about the Rock-afire Explosion. I don’t know if these guys have any affiliation with the film, but the trailer looks pretty amazing.
If you’ve got fond (or not so fond) memories of partying with your crew in front of one of these awesome bands, leave a comment.