The March Fourth Marching Band believes in giving its audiences a little bang for their buck. That’s why this Portland, Ore., act combines elements of a concert and a circus atmosphere into one show.
Get ready to see a band dressed in mismatched marching-band outfits, stiltwalkers and dancers hitting the Fox Theatre on Wednesday. It will be a regular three-ring musical circus.
Who: March Fourth Marching Band, with Sambadende
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder
“We started the band at a March 4 Fat Tuesday party, so the name stuck with the band,” bassist John Averill said. “We were all wearing mismatched band uniforms and we kept that up. The energy was incredible at the show, so we decided to follow this up.”
The band now features a roster of more than 35 players, but only 20 hit the road at any given time. The group features a large horn section, guitars, bass and drums, and the March Fourth players perform everything from Eastern European gypsy to afrobeat and rock sounds.
“It’s hard to describe what the band sounds like, but we take all these random hybrids of different musical styles,” Averill said. “This is definitely a high-energy dance band. The music’s very funky and there are lots of rock elements.
“Our music goes all over the map. It’s the kind of music that pumps you up and gives you all this energy.”
Music is only a part of this band’s show. The March Fourth Marching Band likes to spike up its shows by creating a circus and carnival atmosphere at each venue.
The group’s party setting has earned the band concert slots with acts including Blink-182, Galactic and Pink Martini.
“We like to add a certain ambience to our shows,” Averill said. “We like to create this inclusive spectacular, so you feel like a little kid. We create a party vibe with circus elements.
“We create a big, fun dance party with the audience. The band and the audience have so much fun, we all become one. There’s this raw, tribal energy at the shows.”
The March Fourth Marching Band brings stiltwalkers and dancers to all its shows — and firedancers when venues allow it. The group changes up the show from night to night, so you never know what kind of musical surprise you’ll get in Boulder.
“We have three hours of material, so we adapt the show for every audience,” Averill said. “We never do the same show twice. If you like to dance and party, you’ll like the March Fourth Marching Band.”