Rubblebucket's return to the Beauty Ballroom
By Abby Johnston, 4:07PM, Thu. Sep. 27, 2012
Rubblebucket doesn’t need strobe lights. Doesn’t need neon strips tied to mics, or black lights. Amassing diverse genres into a big ball of ska, twee, and some special brand of magic that ignites a dance party wherever they land, the Brooklyn octet's return to the Beauty Ballroom Wednesday didn't need the bells and whistle, but we like them anyway.
Following up third full-length Omega La La, an Oversaturated EP earlier this month and the band's current tour with Athens’ fourpiece Reptar provided the perfect platform for polishing the Ballroom's glittery East Riverside headquarters last night.
The new title track spaced out with trilled synth, a slower jam allowing Kalmia Traver to flex her R&B-inspired vocals. Synths set to the Eighties dominated dance-rock anthem “Oooh Wa,” punctuated by a chorus of horn proclamations by vocalist/trumpeter Alex Toth and Adam Dotson on trombone.
Kalmia acts as Rubblebucket's lively hostess. Bursting with energy from the moment she steps onstage, she leads the boys through choreographed dance moves that range from upright running man to zombie struts. She wails on the saxophone just as easily as she dances and sings, pulling triple duty as a frontwoman and getting stronger with each pass through Austin. Last night, the band improved on its Chaos in Tejas fly-by in June, which was terrific.
Omega La La favorites didn't go ignored. The first riff of “Silly Fathers” stampeded the crowd onto the dance floor, while upstairs the balcony dissolved into a frenzy of dancing and sing-a-longs. The introspective “Raining” toned down the bombast, yet held the crowd’s attention.
The show couldn’t have ended any better than closer “Came Out of a Lady,” on which Toth trumpeted through the crowd on the shoulders of a fan. Kalmia invited up the members of Reptar to shake their rumps, while Rubblebucket’s signature dancing robots towered through the thick floor.