1332 W. Burnside
21 and over only
doors at 9 p.m.
music at 10 p.m.
Crystal Ballroom ticket office
Disco is far from dead. Perhaps it has resurrected.
That’s the message that a Northwest band called Hit Explosion wants to convey. This group of nine travels the Northwest, spreading ’70s and ’80s dance music all across the land. While many mainstream bands take ’70s hits and shred them to 2001 bits, Hit Explosion creates a funky/groovy disco dance experience that stays true to its original spirit.
Seventies mania is all over the pop culture these days. With flared pants in style, and entertainment such as “That ’70s Show” and “Boogie Nights,” it seems that the ’70s are cool in the ’00s. Hit Explosion isn’t following the ’70s fad. In their official biography, the band even claims to be “the zenith of the ’70s explosion.”
They’ve had a lot of time to gain that status; Hit Explosion has been jivin’ to these disco sounds since 1994.
Since that time, the band has taken off, performing all over the country, gaining fans in many lands.
Perhaps to understand the quality of this band’s music, it may be prudent to see their impact on the greater Northwest.
The list of accomplishments of Hit Explosion is exhaustive. It seems that the band is Seattle’s favorite band (according to the Seattle Mariners), and Portland’s favorite disco tribute cover band (says the Crystal Ballroom).
Hit Explosion started out as a band playing small clubs and parties. They went from that to larger audiences, to the status of Seattle’s favorite band, to Northwest recognition. Now, according to the band’s manager, the group’s energy will be focused on the rest of the country, hoping to continue the momentum.
The status of Seattle’s “favorite band” has given Hit Explosion a lot of work in the Seattle area. They have been seen many times on television and around town, doing Seattle Seahawks Halftime and players’ party gigs, Supersonics shows and Mariners games. Hit Explosion holds the record for the largest attendance at a postgame concert.
Other Seattle performances include regular gigs at The Showbox, performances on local television stations KIRO-Channel 7 and KCPQ-Channel 13.
The group has a performance record like that of a big national band. Hit Explosion has performed for many corporate parties, movie stars, golf parties and other such events. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was seen on stage with the band at one of their many Microsoft corporate party gigs.
Other performances have included a gig at The Mint, which was Bruce Willis’ club in Sun Valley. In between Hit Explosion’s sets, Willis was seen DJ-ing. Besides playing for one of the richest men in the world and one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, the band played for the PGA Open in Phoenix, billionaire Paul Allen and 25,000 people this past new year’s at the Space Needle. In the movie “Smoke Signals,” Hit Explosion singers were featured in the opening song, titled “On Fire Suite.”
Hit Explosion was the only local band to play at Seattle’s Summer Nights on the Pier, an event typically reserved for national acts. Not only did the group play at the event, but they were a headlining band, selling out all 4,000 tickets.This disco group’s ties to Portland are undeniable. Though Hit Explosion is mostly known around their hometown of Seattle, the band frequently sells out shows in the Portland area.
Hit Explosion has been around for a lot of milestone events. They performed at the Rose Garden’s grand opening in 1995, and have been featured at events such as the Bite of Portland and the Rose Festival.
Obviously, there’s something to this band.
Hit Explosion’s manager Dean Zelikovsky believes that the band has a “special something” that creates their success.
“In my opinion, the secret to their success is their ability to capture the vibe of the ’70s … the concept of Hit Explosion is to provide the best possible, most authentic remakes of the ’70s dance hits … they’re just really spectacular at doing that.”
Zelikovsky attests that Hit Explosion carries a certain chemistry that flows to the audience, which in turn creates a fully-interactive experience that everyone can be a part of.
Audiences can expect a wide variety of the most memorable of ’70s tunes. Some of the singles featured in the Hit Explosion repertoire are: “Brick House” by the Commodores, “I Will Survive” by Aretha Franklin, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, “Get Down Tonight” by KC & the Sunshine Band, the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” and Rick James’ “Superfreak” just to name a few. According to Hit Explosion’s official web site (www.hitexplosion.com), the band has a playlist of 55 ’70s hits.
The group will be in town again on Saturday, May 12 at the Crystal Ballroom. Hit Explosion is known to have had many sold-out performances at the Crystal. Zelikovsky says that when Hit Explosion performs at the Crystal, it’s like a national act has taken the stage. “The whole place is packed with people dancing … it’s crazy.”
The concert next weekend starts at 10 p.m., and doors open at 9 p.m. This is a 21 and over show, so unfortunately, not everyone can catch the group. Tickets can be bought for $12 at the Crystal Ballroom or online at TicketWeb (www.ticketweb.com).
Though not everyone can experience the unique ’70s flavor of Hit Explosion, Zelikovsky hints at another Bite of Portland concert. The band has no official booking yet at the festival, but their manager feels confident that the funky-fresh nine will be back for a return visit.