What started in Portland, Oregon, as a 2003 Fat Tuesday party has evolved into the must-see national act. MarchFourth Marching Band's music brings to light the deepest grooves of funk, swing, rock, and jazz, and their style pulls from an array of influences, like Sergeant Pepper leading a freaky Cirque du Soleil performance from the bandstand or European Gypsy camps stumbling upon the rhythms of Brazilian jungle tribes. Concert-goers may not know what they are getting themselves into — at least I didn't when I first saw the band. But three hours later, the mostly instrumental act was on my list of live favorites. Maybe it was the five-piece percussion corps using harnesses made from bicycle parts, the seven-part brass section that includes trombone, trumpet and saxophone, or the 20 musicians and performers donning mismatched marching band uniforms — including Katie Presley, the "SkaQueen" from Warsaw Poland Brothers, the crowd-surfing stiltwalkers, or the fire dancers. Yes, fire dancers. Get thee to this show.
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