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Review: March Fourth Marching Band

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March Fourth Marching Band
May 6, White Rabbit Cabaret
4 stars (out of five)

It's tough to describe the rush of a March Fourth concert. While front-line drummers and an electric bassist lay down a thunderous, almost hard-rock, assault, dancers and vaudevillians move in and out of the crowd. Characters on stilts dance around as fluidly as those closer to the ground. A hula-hoop showcase follows a pole-dancing exhibition, with the pole held in place by one of the stiltsman.

It's an overwhelming experience, visually and aurally.

Song structures are jam-based, with rhythm and horn harmonies emphasized over the melody. Each horn, from trumpet to bari sax, takes a solo. Sometimes structures tighten, and all lines come together on more carefully orchestrated parts. If you close your eyes, you might notice that the musicianship is very strong. But that musicianship is a secondary focus, and it's more about the spectacle.

Audience participation is a key ingredient, although it's hard for any dancer to match the energy of a full marching band playing several hours. It's worth trying, though...

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