Electrifying

Electrifying
The electricity is discharged from Tesla coils, creating lightning bolts during a performance to celebrate the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Bolts of electricity light up the performance area with every kick and header that the members of this Chinese rock band execute.

The lightning bolts that the band members seem to emit make them look larger than life, something that movie audiences may expect to find in Stephen Chow's movie Shaolin Football.

Since they formed two years ago, Thunderbolt Craziness, a rock band from China's Fujian province, has gained fame for using Tesla coils to produce electric arcs that synchronise with the music they play.

When the 2014 World Cup kicked off, they incorporated football action into their electrifying performance.

The Tesla coil, invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891, is an electrical resonant transformer circuit that creates long bolts of electricity at high frequencies.

To avoid getting injured by the coils that are charged with a million volts of electricity, the band members of Thunderbolt Craziness have to wear ferroalloy metal suits while they play their guitars, violins and drums.

These customised suits insulate the band members from the current and they also allow them to shape the artificial lightning bolts.

Special

In addition, their shoes and the balls that they used in their World Cup performance were also coated with a special kind of material to prevent them from getting damaged from the high voltage.

According to the online Chinese news source Tencent, the band's founder Wang Zengxiang was terrified of lightning when he was young.

He said: "I once saw lightning in the farm and I almost peed in my pants. Although scared, I had always thought how amazing it would be if I could stand between the bolts of lightning and touch them."

His studies in the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University led him to discover his first Tesla coil.

Fascinated, he spent all his free time studying it, quitting his job as an electrical engineer to start the band in 2012.

HIs family objected to his decision and his neighbours could not understand it either. It eventually earned him the nickname "Madman Wang".

But throughout the last two years, Thunderbolt Craziness have captured media attention, gaining popularity with their spectacular and electrifying performances.


This article was first published on JULY 8, 2014.
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