Showmanship and rock have always gone hand in (fingerless leather-gloved) hand. The raw intensity of the music demands that performers do something besides just sit or stand passively like dorks while playing their instruments. To wit: Chuck Berry had the duck walk. Pete Townshend had the windmill. And Aric Improta has the kitflip. Wait, who is this Improta person, and what the hell is a kitflip? Improta is a Fullerton, California musician who serves as the drummer for a band called Night Verses. And the kitflip is his masterpiece, a signature move whereby he does a backflip during the middle of an epic drum solo, lands on a stool behind a second drum kit, and just keeps soloing, man. He doesn’t even miss a beat. The kitflip is a thing of beauty.
Improta recently used a GoPro camera strapped to his chest to capture the kitflip in all its awesomely superfluous glory, in a video running less than a minute and a half. Other cameras are also on hand for the black-and-white video, giving viewers both a first-person and a third-person view of the stunt. For those who truly want to savor the moment, the kitflip is also presented in slow-motion. In any incarnation, from any angle, this is an impressive marriage of gymnastics and musicianship. As for practical applications, the kitflip doesn’t seem to have any. And that is exactly the point.