There are three ingredients that make any party great: confetti, balloons, and infectious dance music. Last night at Stage 48 in New York City, Brooklyn indie darlings Rubblebucket teamed up with Canadian band Royal Canoe to deliver an unforgettable concert and a damn good time.
Royal Canoe at Stage 48, NYC 11.5.2014
By the time Royal Canoe took the stage at 9 PM, there was a sizable audience on the floor waiting to hear them play. What the band gave the fans was an eclectic mix of spacey electronic rock with hints of dance pop. Drummers Derek Allard and Michael Jordan provided synchronized drumming while singer Matt Peters focused his energy on delivering a crisp vocal performance. The six-piece group delivered a setlist of songs using falsettos and effect pedals that took their sounds to unfamiliar territories. Although their set was short, the band got the audience primed and ready for Rubblebucket.
Rubblebucket at Stage 48, NYC 11.5.2014
Rubblebucket is in the final stretch of their Survival Sounds Tour and the band expressed great enjoyment for being back in New York City. Their setlist was heavy on new material, focusing on their recently released fourth studio album, Survival Sounds. Their brand of dance-driven funk music energized a crowd that were clearly ready to shake their bones all night long.
Singer Annakalmia Traver is an extremely talented performer and musician. Throughout the night, she delivered passionate vocals for every song, and contributed to the music by wailing away on a baritone saxophone. The diversity of their music is something few bands can deliver. The ska-driven "Sound Of Erasing" was complimented by skillful flute playing. "Rewind" was a delightfully fun dance number that saw the crowd jumping up and down.
Throughout the set, giant balloons and confetti filled the air. One song featured bandleader Alex Toth draping the fans closest to the stage in a giant white sheet and playing trumpet underneath. Another involved Annakalmia asking the crowd to get low to the ground to help her rise a song to its peak. She often changed her outfits on stage, as well -- from a robe covering her body to a beautiful white dress.
As the show was coming to an end, band members got offstage and marched their way through the crowd in a fife and drum style, complete with horns. They wound up by their merch table in the back of the room and performed for the crowd in an intimate way that had everyone excited. A fan at the show informed me that the band only does this when they perform at small venues.
Rubblebucket have gained experience by playing small jam band festivals, but they have not lost their ability to put on a great show at a small club. If you're a fan of varied music styles and high-energy crowds, then you'd be wise to check out a Rubblebucket show. You will leave feeling like you've been to one spectacular dance party.
For Rubblebucket's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.
Photos by Francesco Marano