I’m having a hard time deciding if the Rubblebucket concert, held at The Jefferson in Charlottesville, VA on September 21 was a concert or more of a theatrical performance. It had all the makings for a kind of “indie-dance musical”, there were costume changes, props (confetti and balloons were thrown into the audience numerous times), there was even a guest appearance made by the “flower creature” who looked similar to the image appearing on the cover of the band’s latest album Survival Sounds.
Rubblebucket stopped in Charlottesville, as a part of their cross-country tour to promote Survival Sounds. Body Language, a 70’s inspired funk techno band was Rubblebucket’s opener. Since the band is still up-and-coming, The Jefferson was no where near capacity. However this only left more room for the dedicated fans to dance along to hits such as Carousel Ride and Sound of Erasing off the new album.
Lead vocalist Kalmia Traver engaged the audience multiple times throughout the show, most noticeably during Origami, where she taught the audience the chorus and insisted we sing along with the band. I couldn’t help but smile while shouting it’s chorus, “Always, always, always be fun!” and simultaneously jumping up and down. Even more involvement came at the end of the show, when Rubblebucket invited, Body Language, on stage to help play Save Charlie the band’s hit EP. The band members even exited the stage at the end through the theatre, and hung out for an extended instrumental version of Save Charlie.
Listen: “Save Charlie” – Rubblebucket
My only complaint about the show, is that after an hour some of Rubblebucket’s songs start to run together. It was hard to distinguish the end of one song from the beginning of another when the majority have a heavy horn presence and synth.
I think part of Rubblebucket’s appeal comes from their interesting and innovative combination of real instruments (two guitarists, a drummer, a keyboardist, a trombone player, a trumpet player, and vocals) with new age keyboard sounds. The band works together to combine these very different disciplines into cohesive, dancey, music. The whole audience gave a collective shout of glee when Came Out of a Lady was finally played half way through the set. The tune, was in fact, stuck in my head for days after the concert.
All in all, I was incredibly satisfied with the performance, in fact, I would say that the concert was one of the most entertaining shows I have been to. Rubblebucket’s flair for the theatrics, and their continuous interactions with the audience both contributed to what I would say was a show unlike any other I have been to. The band’s next stop is Madison WI, on Sept. 28, and Minneapolis MN, on Sept. 30.
Listen: “Sound of Erasing” – Rubblebucket
Purchase Survival Sounds here.
Learn more about Rubblebucket at www.rubblebucket.com
Photos by Liza Pittard