Besides featuring musicians who can play and move in difficult formation at the same time, Blast! also uses flag bearers, rifle twirlers and other skilled performers who often accompany marching bands.
Born in the heartland — Bloomington, Indiana, to be exact — Blast! evolved from the drum corps Star of Indiana. The group's artistic director James Mason, after carrying the company to a world championship at the Drum Crops International World Championships in 1991, began to shape Star of Indiana from a 128 member group to a theatrical show. In 1999, Blast! debuted at the Apollo Hammersmith in London in a 68-person version. Among the pieces Blast!'s musicians perform are Ravel's "Bolero," Copland's "Simple Gifts/Appalachian Spring" and "Gee, Officer Krupke," from West Side Story.