The melody of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Take It" floated in and out of downtown for thirty minutes Saturday. While the cries and tub-thumping of Occupy Denver protesters were louder, and the people dressed up as gorillas for the Gorilla Run seemed stranger, Denver's first city-sponsored performance piece definitely got people's attention.
"Some guy offered me a twenty-dollar bill," says Cassidy St. Clergy, one of ninety members of the Bear Creek High School marching band who played their instruments as they walked through downtown in street clothes.
Not all of the responses were as flattering. "Someone threw something at me, but I don't know what it was," says Gillian Whitaker, another member of the marching band. But in general, as the high-school musicians walked individually around the streets, playing their part of the song, the common responses they encountered were: people ignoring them, gawking at them or singing along.
There were two parts of the "anti-flashmob," as Lee Walton, one of two artists on the project, described the project. (The second artist was Jon Rubin of the Museum of Contemporary Art's "Thinking About Flying," aka the Pigeon Project.) After traveling through the streets and milling around LoDo, at 1:30 p.m. the students gathered together for an impromptu concert at Skyline Park. That event ran into an Occupy Denver protest.
For the most part, the musicians just scooted around the massive Occupy crowds. However, the theme of rebellion that bubbles out of "We're Not Going to Take It" often got them confused with protesters."There was a part when the people didn't know if they were part of Occupy," Walton says.
The confusion added to the interest, says Tammy Ahmed, head of the marching band: "It melded with the city happenings."
In true high-schooler fashion, one member of the band described the event in the following manner: "I played like poop."
See more pictures at Backbeat.