Indie rock does not rule out theatrics: Rubblebucket delivers a dramatic, playbill-worthy performance at Terminal West, Atlanta.
Embracing every single one of their quirks, Annakalmia Traver and Alex Toth, front people of Rubblebucket, marched onto Terminal West's stage on January 28th. The band is working on the promotion of their most recent release: Earth Worship; their Terminal West show being supported by the band Spaceface.
Spaceface's performance at Terminal West was the first show in a long list where they would open for Rubblebucket. Their set was one of indie electronic rock and it was brought on with incredible attitude by the whole band. It was impossible not to feel the chemistry in between keyboards, bass, guitar and drums. There was also no single front-person, or leading vocalist; all members seemed to have their own leading tracks; then there were other tracks where they all belted the lyrics; others where nobody sang at all, instead dedicating themselves to their instruments. With bouncy, danceable tracks, Spaceface definitely served as a warm prologue to what would be the theatrics of Rubblebucket.
After the psychedelic sounds of Spaceface were done for the night, Rubblebucket came on stage enjoying a myriad of applause. Kalmina presented herself as an ethereal figure, veiled and wrapped in dramatic robes, ready to rock the stage with her saxophone. She was followed by Alex and the band. Their sound was exceptionally experimental, it is rare to see brass instruments used under such a spotlight for indie rock music, but Rubblebucket definitely made it work. There were trumpets, trombones, saxophones and flutes; all meshing together, still getting people to headbang. These instruments you would normally expect from a marching band, were sweetly complimented by guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and reverb-ed vocals. It was a force of sound that didn't impact you with loud guitar solos or aggressive bass licks, but instead opted for the slow shock of exploration. Rubblebucket has a unique sound infinitely fueled by Alex's and Kalmina's passion for the unknown.
Rubblebucket's creative drive is not limited to their sound. The show they put on provided an overall sensory-stimulating experience. Alex, Kalmina and the band had their choreographed movements down to snap of fingers and face expressions. As they sang, they flowed with the beat in awkward yet confident arm movements, stretching and scrunching up in ways that made the audience smile in awe. Rubblebucket slid back and forth in calculated, sometimes purposely robotic strides. Each artist was so in sync with the environment around them as well as the other people on stage, it was mesmerizing to watch.
To compliment the music and their comic dances, Rubblebucket also brought on an admirable DIY production. They had mesh fabrics and cardboard headpieces as well as several costume changes. During one song they all had clown-like tutus around their shoulders, bobbing around with the chorus, but before you knew it, they were all pulling out helmets heaping with flowers on bouncy sticks. Odd masks, exiting hats, colorful jackets, extravagant shoe covers, the list is infinite. All of these pieces too were very notably handmade; I do not put it past the realm of possibilities if Kalmina and Alex were on their couch, a couple weeks before tour, working relentlessly with Elmers glue on their hands and an arts and crafts vision on their heads. This amount of dedication is definitely praiseworthy and not often seen.
Overall, Rubblebucket was an amazing act to watch, bordering on theatrical and definitely dramatic in essence. Their setlist goes as follows:
1. Earth Worship
2. Morning in the Sun
4. Cherry Blossom
5. Melt Through the Floors
6. Sweet Spot
7. If U C My Enemies
11. Rain Rain Nature Rain
12. Came Out of Lady
13. Zeros as Round as the World
Rubblebucket will continue to spread joy through their out-of-the-box thinking across America, their next tour dates are as follows: