Around the educated-listener music scene, there has been quite a buzz about the Boston-based band Rubblebucket. At the Westcott Theater November 14th, I finally got to check out what all the hipster hubbub was all about. The lead vocalist, Kalmia Traver, is one of those rock chicks every female music lover wishes she could be. Traver’s, and the rest of the band’s “I don’t-give-a- $&?!-I’m-a-dork” attitude got the entire house grooving hard. Other than easily noting their whimsical horn section, the band’s sound is hard to put a finger on. To give you a good idea of their musical spectrum, at one point in the show Kalmia asked the crowd if they were in the mood for one of the bands dark and stormy songs or one of their happy dorky songs. Both types were shouted equally from the loyal audience and the band settled on one of their new songs “(Focus) Oversaturated” off their 2012 EP Oversaturated. The track incorporates ghostly arpeggios and has a tempo which definitely puts the song in the dark and stormy category even though its hip-hop claps keep the song fun. You can download “(Focus) Oversaturated” for free on their website rubblebucket.com
Rubblebucket eventually brought the mood back up to happy and dorky when they played their most popular new song off the Oversaturated EP, “Came Out Of A Lady”. Kalmia and the boys in the horn section highlighted the song with random choreographed dance moves at different parts. The show became more of a celebration than a concert when giant tinfoil robots came dancing into the pit. The band’s fun interactive qualities are clearly a major driving force in their success. Their physical antics and showmanship were beyond captivating. Anyone who hadn’t previously seen them live knew they were in for something cool when the band played their first song wearing spotlight medallions around their necks, like Flava Flav at a rave. Twice in the show, Kalmia was helped over the metal gate in front of the stage by fans in the front and proceeded to climb into the crowd for dance breaks with the audience. Band leader and trumpet player Alex Toth joined in the crowd as well playing his trumpet on the shoulders of a lucky fan. The band ended the show by jumping into the crowd one by one (giant robots included) and parading through the room to the back where they had a jam session in a circle while the audience danced and clapped around them. At this show, if you weren’t dancing, you stuck out like a sore thumb. Rubblebucket’s live performance exceeded my expectations. If they keep it up they can look forward to capturing many new fans and keeping their old ones coming back for more.