MusicMarauders Presents: March Fourth Marching Band 3.28.13

The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn

Most concerts I attend these days are musical adventures, which I choose myself to undertake and hopefully enjoy to the fullest. I do not expect or really desire theatrical displays, crazy light shows, or other distractions from the actual music because I truly believe that for concert attendees the most important and fulfilling part of going to see a live show is the music itself. Now, there are bands such as the String Cheese Incident who have learned how to incorporate performer's unique artistic abilities into their live productions and most of the time it doesn’t distract from the amazing music being created on stage. But, even with my personal desire to focus on the music and not worry about any outside distractions there are a few acts on our scene today who push the limit when it comes to creating a true combination of theatrics and amazing musical talent. One of the most well known acts to do this in recent years is the Oregon based, circus influenced, and musically talented group known as The MarchFourth Marching Band.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon this raging party of a band is sometimes as big as twenty people strong, and even with all of the moving and grooving on stage not one member misses a beat. This rocking group includes a 5-piece percussion group, a 7-piece horn section, and numerous other guitarists, bassists, and random musicians running in and out from song to song. With the percussion section taking the lead on most songs March Fourth shows are full of drum-line like precision, and outrageously well-rehearsed transitions, which truly allows the audience to move and groove with every different beat played. Each member of the band has a very important role in keeping their timing and tune in coherence with the rest of the group, with many members soloing one after another. This is just one of the very impressive aspects of this group and MarchFourth’s recent show at the Fox Theatre was absolutely no different.

Playing to a jam-packed, energy-filled, sold out crowd of all ages the 20-person band from Oregon did not disappoint us music obsessed Boulderites. Coming out in full force right off the bat, the March Fourth Marching Band had the Boulder crowd raging from the minute they stepped on stage and even brought some of their more popular theatrics with them. As well as having a 20-person musical unit rocking and rolling from song to song, the Oregonians brought three stilt walkers with them to dazzle our senses even further. With their heads high above the rest of the Fox Theatre’s attendees, the stilt walkers provided us with dazzling displays of balance, strength, and overall intestinal fortitude as they were forced to join there musical compatriots on the small stage. Without missing a beat, the two males and one female performers gave us Coloradoans a real bang for our buck as the crowd cheered louder and louder with each death-defying cartwheel and well-planned trick. But these “circus-like” antics did not distract from the musical creativity exuding from the band members on stage, and the perfect harmony of craziness and musical proficiency was amazing.

So how do you describe a musical talent such as March Fourth to someone who may never have had the opportunity to experience the madness? “March Fourth Marching Band (M4 to its fans) is a kaleidoscope of musical and visual energy that inspires dancing in an atmosphere of celebration.” This description taken from the M4 website, is a perfect way to summarize the craziness which comes from seeing this Portland, Oregon musical circus. Whether it’s the drum-line like percussion section or the raging 7-piece horn division these musical creators provide an awesome experience with every performance. After having the opportunity to see this band at events such as Desert Rocks and Jam Cruise I have completely fallen head over heels for their creative theatrics and pure combination of unique musical genres. I highly recommend catching this group at any moment possible, as you are guaranteed to have an amazing time. Whether it’s at a small theater like the Fox, or in the middle of a festival campground the March Fourth Marching Band will 100% provide good times and toe-tapping beats. And come on, who doesn’t like the circus?

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