Yo Gabba Gabba Interview

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Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Music is Awesome! comes to TPAC on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for two shows. Read what co-creator Christian Jacobs has to say about the show.

Since 2007, preschoolers have been gaga over Yo Gabba Gabba!, the popular TV series on Nick Jr. that explores a variety of topics through stories and songs. The show features a colorful cast of costumed characters — Brobee (the friendly green monster), Muno (the red cyclops), Plex (the yellow robot), Toodee (the blue cat-dragon) and Foofa (the pink flower bubble) — along with their human pal, DJ Lance Rock.

Aside from a collection of merchandise including toys and clothing, Yo Gabba Gabba! also boasts live touring shows, and there’s a brand new one on the road right now — Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Music is Awesome! — that’s coming to TPAC’s Jackson Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for two performances (see show details/ticket info below).

Actual children inspired the creation of the Yo Gabba Gabba! characters, says co-creator Christian Jacobs, a former child actor and lead singer for the rock band The Aquabats. In partnership with Scott Schultz, Jacobs recalls the conception of the TV show. “Scott and I worked together since we were teenagers, and when we started having kids, we were discussing what they were watching on TV,” Jacobs says. “Our idea came from watching shows and realizing that something cooler could be happening … there was a void there, and the shows at the time weren’t resonating,” he adds.

Schultz and Jacobs’ main goal was to simply create cool music for their toddlers, but it was more than music that inspired the young dads — their own kids had a lot to do with developing the show’s characters. “When we were coming up with ideas [for Brobee, Muno, Foofa, Toodee and Plex], we actually broke out the personality traits of our own children to create the characters,” Jacobs says.

Kids will get to see DJ Lance and all of the characters during the new live show coming to Nashville, but don’t expect a narrative-style performance like the TV version of Yo Gabba Gabba! “This is a concert for kids,” says Jacobs, adding, “the focus is on music instead of the ‘why’ of telling a story.”

While the show doesn’t come with “call and response” components, kids can look forward to interactive elements with DJ Lance. “He gets in the audience, and there are a lot of game-play songs … doing things together as a crowd,” says Jacobs, adding that kids will want to dance, rock and sing along during the 40-minute performance (there are two 20-minute sets with a 15-minute intermission in between), emphasizing that “music is there” the whole time.

You can add more fun to your child’s Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! experience with the VIP package that includes premium seating and a post-show after party where kids can meet the characters. “The VIP experience is a relatively new phenomenon in the kids’ arena,” says Jacobs. “Each of the characters has its own station to pose for photos with the kids (parents receive the pics via e-mail afterward), and DJ Lance tells a story,” he adds.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Music is Awesome! takes place at 3 and 6 p.m. TPAC’s Jackson Hall is located at 505 Deaderick St., Nashville. Tickets for the concert only are $19.50 – $39.50. VIP tickets are $119.50 each. Call 782-4040 or visit tpac.org.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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