BY EVAN VERPLOEGH | DECEMBER 8, 2015
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, MarchFourth Marching band combines thick, horn-driven funk with acrobatics and elements of the burlesque.
Dressed in a mismatch array of clothes ranging from buffalo heads, chest hair revealing vests, and more stripes than you can count, the 20 members of MarchFourth were a spectacle before they even hit the first note. But once they did, it was quickly clear that no matter how outlandishly they appeared, the talent was real and they were having a hell of a grand time proving it.
MarchFourth implemented an immense accompaniment of instruments including five percussionists, a guitar, a bass, and a whopping eight horn players. Even more impressive, musicians rotated between instruments during their performance. For a band that includes as many as 20 members at a time, it was impressive that each musician seemed to share an equal piece in the overall product and everyone got their own moment to shine.
From stilt walkers, choreographed dancers, juggling routines, and unharnessed acrobatics that left you searching for breath, the experience MarchFourth provides is as much a carnival as it is a concert. The sheer amount of visual stimulation was at times even overwhelming, and it would be best observed from a far vantage point.
In times where music is taken quite seriously, and fun is sometimes substituted for attempting to dig at a deeper message, MarchFourth was a breath of fresh air. An atmosphere of jubilance was abundant. It was a beautiful thing.
After nearly two hours of in your face funkcrobatics, Marchfourth left the stage with audience members wanting more. And boy did they deliver. As folks were gathering their belongings, the band came streaming out of the wings, instruments in hand, and stilts on their feet. Members of the group weaved in and out of the crowd, booty-shaking with the best of us. The notion that everyone was in this together was taken to the extreme, especially when you’re trying to avoid taking a trombone to the side of the head.
As I said, MarchFourth is an experience. One that I HIGHLY recommend checking out. The band is a group of multi-talented musicians, acrobats, and dancers that are pouring their hearts and souls into creating such a special setting.