The Scene: Denver is a town that isn’t afraid to dance. The music fiends who inhabit our fine city embrace the liberating feeling of fully letting go at a show, whether that means freaking out, getting down or dressing up. Although not “weird” like Portland per se, Denver does let it’s freak flag fly, and it usually happens on a dance floor. Last Friday night when MarchFourth Marching Band pulled into town like a psychedelic gypsy caravan, we joined the brass menagerie of sights and sounds, seduced by this 18 member magical marching band.
MarchFourth Marching Band: I first saw MarchFourth at Telluride Blues and Brews last year, and they won myself and many others over in those hills with a parade through town, a sparkling mainstage set, and a late night throw down under a circus tent. This time they brought their celebratory songs to the stage of the Bluebird Theatre, and it might have been the best setting I had seen them in yet.
The stage was packed with musicians and the two stilt walking members of the troup elevated the party to a whole other level. If you can’t have fun in front of a bouncing brass band sporting traditional Marching Band regalia with a vaudevillian flare, stilt walkers, acrobats and dancers, you may want to consult a physician.
Not only is the production value high, but so is the caliber of musicianship. MarchFourth took us through a set that was filled with sounds I seldom hear created at the same show. Everything about this band is unique. They take New Orleans marching band music and add World rhythms, Gypsy grooves and straight up Funk to the mix. The pounding of a 5 piece percussion section kept our feet moving the entire time, and the energetic acrobatics and dancing kept our eyes wide open and our mouths too at times. “Dynomite” brought out a particular explosive reaction from the crowd, and “Powerhouse” packed a punch as well, but it was “Happiness” that brought me the most joy. The night ended with the entire band taking the show out into the middle of the Bluebird where they continued to play enveloped by the crowd. Looking down from the balcony it looked like MarchFourth was the eye of a beautiful storm that blew everyone’s inhibitions away.
Stage Presence: A+
Set/Light Show: A-