Red Hot Chilli Pipers combine classics

By Haley Galvin

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers rocked out Wednesday night at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., with an incredibly unique twist on live music called “bagrock” which combines the excitement of classic rock music with melodic, traditional Scottish tones.

The show started out with a huge bang of lights, booming drums and smoke, setting a startling and exciting tone for what was to come. The band consisted not only of the three main bagpipers, but also featured two percussionists, a guitarist, a bassist, a keyboard player and a singer for a few of the songs. The first half of the show was mostly instrumental versions of the songs; however, in the second half the band amped up the performance with vocals that brought the songs even more life.

Each member of the band wore a traditional black kilt with red accents, slightly different from the traditional American idea of bright red plaid kilts, creating a sharp look for the group.

The band also tied back into their roots with several Scottish songs and ballads, bringing a taste of Scottish tradition to diversify the show. The band members brought the concert full circle with a taste of their Scottish history, blending the two cultural music styles even more seamlessly together.

The skill each player displayed was shown in every song they performed with smooth notes and familiar melodies. It’s obvious the group has a passion for their music which shined through in their electrifying performance.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers lived up to their rock name with iconic songs from several different decades. As the guitar and drums began the buildup of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, the bagpipe came in strong with the heavy melody of the song that many recognize.

The harmony between all the instruments continued with “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. The bagpipes took the lead blaring the notes as the instruments in the background filled in the melody that was missing, and the leadsinger joined in for this song.

The bagpipes may seem odd, but the show was executed so well the songs were just as good as the originals and sometimes, even more compelling. The sound of the bagpipes had such a rich and different tone that often made the songs sound more raw and powerful than expected.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers created a “bagrock” experience that can never be forgotten or replicated. The music was exciting and unique and kept the entire theater on their feet, rocking alongside the band.