Rubble bucket at The Westcott Theater

Balloons, hula skirts, tutus make Rubblebucket concert memorable

Review: The indie-dance band returned to snowy Syracuse on Friday night to play The Westcott Theater.

Rubblebucket was met by an adoring mass of true Upstate New Yorkers, who don’t let slushy roads stop them from belting out a song about love and human birth. The members were apparently equally-adoring, telling the crowd, “You guys are so cool.”

Local musician JC Gori played the first of two opening sets with his one-man band, which heavily relied on loop tracks. After setup time bled into his set time, his loop tracks failed him. Only a few minutes into a technical difficulty-riddled set, Gori was asked to pack it up and leave the stage in the interest of time.

Photo: Ryan Polgar
Indie-psychedelic band Rubblebucket brought an electrified set to the Westcott Theater.

Up-and-coming anti-genre queen Deja Carr of Mal Devisa followed up with a more than redeeming one-woman set. Her self-released album, Kiid, was recently named on Stereogum’s “Best 50 Albums of 2016” list. With a bass, a drum set and a loop station, Carr managed to turn a single voice into a raw conversation with the audience (“Does it kill you to know that we’re all dying?”). During the Rubblebucket set, frontwoman Kalima Traver described Carr’s album as “f------ stunning.” A rowdy Friday night crowd, however, made it nearly impossible to hear Mal Devisa’s intimate set any farther than 20 feet back.

Six-piece, indie-psychedelic band, Rubblebucket, with their coordinated Motown-eqsue stepping, pulled audience members off their feet, into the air, and down low to the cold, bubble-gum covered floor of The Westcott Theater. Every moment of their set was like the fifth-grade birthday party of every child’s dream, but with better music.

Balloons, hula skirts, tutus and crowd-surfing musicians electrified an already-lively set for a crowd of dedicated hip-shakers.

Catering to every new and old fan, Rubblebucket brought an explosive mixture of past classics like “Came Out of a Lady” and “Carousel Ride,” and new — but soon to be classics — “Donna” and “If U C My Enemies.” Both new songs will appear on the band’s new EP “If U C My Enemies,” set to release January 2017. Rubblebucket hasn’t released an album since Survival Sounds in 2014, after Traver’s battle with ovarian cancer.

A band of rotating percussion, string and brass instruments, no one on the Rubblebucket stage was expendable. Each sound carried its own weight and packed its own punch. Traver’s voice served as Rubblebucket’s eighth instrument, providing sounds matching the variety of Talking Heads’ David Byrne. Like Byrne, Traver whistles, wails, wah-wahs and makes sounds for which there are no proper descriptions.

Even after the show ended, the performers played on. Each member of Rubblebucket left the stage in a single-file line like a marching band, and continued to play as they walked towards the back of the theater. A conga line formed behind them, and the encircling crowd lifted trumpeter Alex Toth up above them, as their brass-instrument deity.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.