Indie pop-rockers Reptar and Rubblebucket take over C-ville
The lineup of the Reptar and Rubblebucket concert at the Jefferson Theater last Wednesday struck a chord with the festival-going crowd, and the resulting show lived up to expectations.
The performances kicked off with Stepdad, an electro-pop band from Grand Rapids, Mich. that opened for Passion Pit at the Jefferson last fall. Though the group’s songs weren’t particularly memorable, its upbeat, electronic sound was entertaining enough to get the crowd warmed up for what would be a workout of a show.
Reptar and Rubblebucket are two exciting bands with a shared energy, but they are distinct in sound and genre. With similar rhythms and baselines, the bands are enough alike to share a guitarist, but I am hesitant to group them together. With one official keyboardist and at least four keyboards, Reptar, recently formed in Athens, Ga., took the stage without any hesitation — and no member of the band hesitated to move around either. One song after another inspired creative dance moves from audience members and band members alike.
As they moved deeper into the set list, the bouncing knees and head bobs grew more exaggerated. As if to reinforce that this was a night for music and dancing, the band offered little commentary, and the energetic Reptar show ended as quickly as it started.
Where Reptar used multiple keyboards, Rubblebucket incorporated a variety of marching band instruments: two horns, a saxophone and even woodblocks. Rubblebucket, formed in Brooklyn, N.Y., has made its impression on the festival circuit and garnered some major support from producers of bands such as Dirty Projectors and LCD Soundsystem. Dynamic vocals and use of a variety of instruments, including horns, set the band apart.
About halfway through its set, bizarre robot-like puppets made of aluminum and PVC pipe joined the crowd, an event characteristic of every Rubblebucket show. Audience members surrounded them like young sports fans flocking to a mascot.
Perhaps these indie-pop/indie-rock groups, which are well-received at festivals such as Bonnaroo but overshadowed by established cult bands such as Phish, are entering into a sphere of their own. Who said indie rockers couldn’t jam?