Words and Photo by Dana Montanari
New York City — Oh! The thrill of coming into New York City for live music is a feeling that never gets old! This evening’s mission was Rubblebucket at The Bowery Ballroom. After a brisk walk from the subway down to Delancy Street, I arrived to one of my most favorite venues in the city. Wrist-banded and onward, it was down to the hot, steamy basement packed with a sold out, 18+ crowd.
I sadly didn’t make it in time to see any of the opening act, Prussia. As I was settling into my surroundings, Superhuman Happiness was upstairs throwing down! They had a sound that was very Talking Heads inspired. Led by Stuart Bogie, they drew my feet upstairs to the stage just in time to catch their last song. Much like Rubblebucket, SHH cannot be placed in just one specific genre—their individual skills when combined place them amongst all different playing fields from funk to pop to rock.
The lights went up a bit and the roadies hopped up to set the stage with Rubblebucket’s wide array of instruments. Once complete, they hung green and yellow streamers from the singers mic stands—a sign that things were almost in place. The crowd was chanting “Rub-ble-buc-ket!” and someone up front was waving around an upside-down, empty bucket. “Where am I going to put all of this rubble?” a girl next to me asked. As the lights went back down, I looked at the girl, pointed to the bucket and replied, “You will know soon enough!”
Starting their winter tour with three sold out shows (in a row) is not only flattering, but also a testament to how widely successful they have become over the course of their last four years together. The members of Rubblebucket took stage and kicked off the show with “Worker”, a song off their latest release, Omega La La. They kept it rolling showing love to the new and old hits alike. In between “Landing” and “Silly Fathers” they even went ahead and spoiled us with a new song. Tentative name: “More Deeper Rage”; aptly named in my opinion. I had decided to scope out the new threads at the merch and in turn gave up my chance to dance amongst a duo of giant band-made robot puppets to a Heart Of Glass/White Lines/Rapture mashup– “Heart Caverns.” I jumped in midway and holy sax solo, Batman! Stuart Bogie had joined back in on the action and I had no choice but to dance!
They kept the funk coming right at us as they broke into “Bikes”, one of my most favorite hits from their first album. The lady of the band, Kalmia, dedicated the next song to “all of the love triangles in the house” as they took it down a bit into “Triangular Daises.” At this point in the night, I was up on the balcony level and I looked out to see lovers all over the room swaying together. This vibe continued as they went into another new song, tentatively named ‘Ooo Waa’.
I could tell the evening was winding down with the more hits they threw our way. “November” into “Came Out of a Lady” ended the set. Some say that this was the best part of the show. Alex, Dotson and a few others, with their brass in hand, threw themselves at their fans. While still playing to the beat, they were passed around amongst fans in a parade-like fashion. It is really hard to not like that part of the show! Who does that? Apparently just the evening before, they incorporated a “love tunnel” into the mix. Unfortunately for us here in NY, it was over before it began as Alex confirmed said tunnel did not make it out of Burlington alive.
A quick break before they returned to the stage for their encore. They did an incredible remix of “Down in the Yards” while donning flashing blue lights that kept me visually in tune with the beat. And they ended the evening with “L’Homme;” second and third songs off of their new album.
Thanks for rocking my face, Rubblebucket. And a special kudos to Ian Hersey for ripping it on the guitar! Well done!
“More Deeper Rage” (new song–tentative title)
“Heart Caverns” (Heart Of Glass/White Lines/Rapture mashup)
“Ooo Waa” (new song–tentative title)
Came Out of a Lady
Down In The Yards (remixed version)
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