BY RYAN WELLICOME
American comedic dance-pop duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo is set to make a stop in Lacombe while on their Canadian tour this October. The show is set for Oct. 26th in Centennial Hall of the Lacombe Memorial Centre with doors opening at 6 p.m.
The event’s orchestrator, Kindergarten teacher Laurie McIntosh, is thrilled that the group was able to include Lacombe on their tour.
“I’m really excited. I’ve seen them quite a few times now. I’ve been to their all-ages shows and their adult shows and it’s so much fun,” she said. “It’s a full concert of sweat and dancing and singing and just awesomeness. They just like to have fun.”
The two-man show – comprised of vocalists Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad – is touring following the June release of their newest musical audiobook The Triangle of Success.
The album features a combination of motivational monologues and dance tracks, designed to inspire and delight all ages.
Since 2008, Koo Koo Kanga Roo has toured elementary schools, churches and bars across North America.
Describing themselves as ‘The Beastie Boys meets Sesame Street, the band’s shows are heavily based on audience interaction and participation. The duo encourages its shows’ attendees to sing and dance along with the music.
The duo is actively involved with GoNoodle, an active participation web site geared towards children, for which they have produced content. The program encourages teachers and parents to use videos and other content to get kids active at home and in the classroom. McIntosh’s class uses such videos.
Over time, her class became big fans of Koo Koo Kanga Roo and decided to reach out. The class sent the duo emails, letters and pictures explaining how much they enjoyed their work.
At the time, McIntosh’s class was the only class to reach out to the performers so a visit was made to the classroom.
In 2013, the duo made the trip from their home base of Minneapolis, Minnesota to McIntosh’s kindergarten classroom. Since then, McIntosh and the group have maintained contact.
Once the Koo Koo had set their initial tour dates, which included stops in Calgary and Edmonton – the Calgary show has since fallen through – they contacted McIntosh about the prospect of an appearance in Lacombe.
“They were playing a show in Edmonton and just happened to send an email just to say, ‘Do you think we could pull off a show in Lacombe, and do you want to take care of that for us?’ so we got started with the process,” she said.
Lacombe is one of nine destinations on the Canadian tour with all other stops being large cities.
“It is so weird. Even when I see the posters still I’m like. it’s crazy,” said McIntosh.
She said the show has received a larger response than was initially anticipated, prompting the organizers to alter the booking from only half of Centennial Hall to its entirety.
“There is a large fan base here. They’ve got a lot of big fans in Lacombe,” she said.
The show is sponsored by Lacombe Ford and Cilantro and Chive so, consequently, attendance is free. McIntosh believes this offers positive benefits. “Being able to offer if for free through sponsors, I feel like it’s giving everyone equal opportunity to go and see a show and just enjoy that family time together,” said McIntosh.
“To be able to go and experience live music, sing and dance with your family and enjoy that time is great.”