Rubblebucket @ Paradise Rock Club 11.22.13

by Max Oyer (Health Science), published November 29th 2013

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It is every band’s dream and sometimes every fan’s worst nightmare: a sold out show. Quickly this was the case at Paradise Rock Club, as the allure of seeing Rubblebucket live depleted the box office of every ticket they had to offer. Such sales guaranteed an intimate night packed into the humble venue with one of the best live acts around.

The opening bands consisted of And the Kids and Body Language, but it was the latter of the two that really set the tone for the show. With funky beats and a bubbly demeanor, the multi-genre group warmed up the crowd wonderfully – all while creating their own unique presence on the stage. While everyone was sad to see them go, they built an immense amount of anticipation for the headliners.

In typical Rubblebucket fashion, colorful ribbons were hung from every mic stand, which only made the audience that much more eager for the band to appear. By this point the venue had completely filled, and fans nearly had their elbows draped over the speakers. At long last they emerged, strutting in to the boom of hip-hop beats before switching the sound into their own quirky indie-pop. Starting off with music from their new Save Charlie EP, they instantly turned the crowd into a giant, moving mass.

As expected, the energy throughout the entire show rarely dwindled. The brass section brightened the entire scene, and the saxophone enveloped the crowd in its rich sound – much like the huge rainbow sheet that the band threw to the fans, which quite literally covered them. Lead singer Annakalmia Traver, always wild on stage, was relentless in her performance, only pausing to switch out instruments. Despite having come out of chemotherapy recently, she showed no indication that she would let the treatment affect her performance. She owned every part, even sporting a tribal-esque design on the top of her shaved head.

Throughout the show, Rubblebucket engaged the crowd not only through conversation and music, but also the giant, cloth, worm-like entity that bounced atop the packed audience. There was no time for breaks – everyone was dancing, bouncing the worm, waving the sheet, or fighting for a better view of the band. While every song excited the crowd, things really got insane when they played the favorites “Came Out of A Lady” and “Silly Fathers.” Still, nothing compared to the moment when several of the members crowd-surfed across the venue, playing their instruments on the hands of their fans.

After the main set, the band came back out for an encore, including the title single from their recent EP, “Save Charlie.” As the mood began to slow down, Rubblebucket descended from the stage, taking their wind instruments with them and marching across the venue, jamming the entire way. They finally came to a halt on the other side, totally changing the feel from a concert to a street band busking for a few dollars.

Rubblebucket are something special. They are more than just a band when they are on stage; they are a family; a single unit. Few bands are as in their element on stage as this one, and they deliver nothing short of an amazing experience.

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