IYS is no stranger to Rubblebucket shows at Burlington, Vermont’s Higher Ground. In fact, the band aren’t strangers to this small town either. The University of Vermont alumni played a special sold out show on Friday night with support from hometown rockers Madaila.
The ballroom packed in with fans quickly to show support for Madaila, who took the stage first and proclaimed “Let’s get this party started tonight!” They certainly did get the party started from the get-go. Dressed in their brightly colored 1980s attire, their look matched their sound with their groovy tunes and dancey numbers. Partying and dancing wasn’t all this band had going for them. Their vocal harmonies were quite impressive and their guitar riffs were killer. Anyone who wasn’t a fan at the beginning of their set definitely was by the end.
If you’ve listened to Rubblebucket, but never seen their live show, you need to in order to fully understand their art. They have a visual performance that will keep you on your toes the whole night and you won’t want to miss a second of it.
The room went dark and Rubblebucket’s glow-in-the-dark backdrop lit up the stage cuing the audience that the band was about to go on. From the second that they took the stage, not a single body in the room was still. The crowd was dancing just as crazy and hard as lead vocalist, Kalmia Traver. Alternating between trumpets, baritone sax, and flutes, the band performed all of their fan favorites including "On the Ground," "Shake Me Around," "Rewind," "Came Out of a Lady," and many more jams that were complete with synchronized dancing.
Somehow between all of that dancing, the band managed to crowd surf more than once during their set and weave their way through the audience to make sure everyone had a front row view. After navigating through the crowd, Traver came back on stage wearing a pom-pom like shirt that flowed with every move she made. To keep the party vibe going, the band busted out confetti machines and filled the entire room with colorful paper that fell just as heavily as the snow was falling outside. For Rubblebucket's final song, they brought up the flower covered person that is featured on the cover of their most recent release Survival Sounds which was impressively an identical replica of the photo.
The room went dark again, but the party wasn't quite over. Rubblebucket returned to the stage with just as much energy as they left with for an encore. Just like the end of all of the best parties attended during our childhood, the band brought out with them a bag full of balloons and let them float out into the crowd.