Retro rock at the Crystal Ballroom

Hit Explosion

Crystal Ballroom

1332 W. Burnside

Friday, July 11

10 p.m.

$10 advance

$12 day of show


Have you ever wondered what those people you see rushing around downtown at lunchtime in business attire do to let loose and have some fun? I used to, but now I know. They go to corporate parties and rock out to a cover band called Hit Explosion.

While researching my topic for this week, I was shocked and amazed at the number of people who not only love the band Hit Explosion, but go so far as to post their comments on the band’s Web site. You can see for yourself at

But I would like to give you a small taste of what reviewers from papers such as the Seattle Times have to say about this funky group. The Web site quotes the Seattle Times as saying, “Software tycoon Paul Allen … was the hit of Starwave’s Christmas party when the band Hit Explosion brought Allen and his guitar to the stage. Sources say Allen played four pieces, capping his performance with a rendition of ‘Play That Funky Music, White Boy.'”

Oh, yes, there is a whole page devoted to the following that this ’70s disco and funk cover band has earned by playing events like the Bite of Portland and the Bite of Seattle, and employee parties at places like Microsoft and Intel. They have also played at Bruce Willis’ club in Sun Valley, even luring “Bruno” on stage to play with them.

Granted, they are playing the Crystal Ballroom this Friday, but it seems that the bulk of their performance schedule is devoted to corporate parties.

The agency that represents them should be the easiest way to tell what these cats are all about; it is called Machine Entertainment and caters to corporate parties with the occasional non-profit fundraiser thrown in for good measure.

The Hit Explosion brouhaha reminds me of the first and only time that I saw Super Diamond. It was at the Fred Meyer Challenge Golf Tournament and I was there working while the rest of the crowd was there to get a peek at Patrick Duffy or the “guy from Hercules” who plays every year. My story does have a point: Prior to that moment, I had heard great things about Super Diamond from cool people. Things like, “They’re really cool. They only cover Neil Diamond songs, so it’s ironic and it’s really fun”, and I thought, “Wow, that sounds rad.”

Little did I know that the real fans of Super Diamond, the people who danced their asses off at my one and only viewing of the band, were the very people who were rude to me when buying $5 Bud Light because I wasn’t moving fast enough.

My point is, let’s hope that Hit Explosion is fun and popular because they are genuinely talented and not just because they play songs that the golf tournament crowd can get down to.

Thankfully, after hearing a few songs that I downloaded from their Web site, I would say that Hit Explosion does a very good job of accurately copying songs like “Le Freak” and “Celebrate” and will no doubt rock the socks off the crowd at the Crystal this Friday.