MarchFourth ‘Magic’ at The Temporary
IF YOU GO …
Where: The Temporary at Willits
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m.
How much: $22-$29
It was only a matter of time before the multisensory spectacle of MarchFourth made its way to The Temporary at Willits.
The band — a long-established local favorite based in Portland, Oregon — has brought its joyous chaos to just about every other venue in the valley. They’re regulars at Belly Up and they’ve played slopeside in Aspen for spring break and Snowmass Village for Mardi Gras. They’ve headlined Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs and Mountain Fair in Carbondale and once — in their days as MarchFourth Marching Band — launched a parade down Main Street there.
A MarchFourth show is more than a concert, of course — it always includes acrobats and stilt-walkers and some circus show toughs. The band is bringing a cast of 15 musicians and performers to The Temporary on Saturday, Jan. 19.
But if you’ve been keeping up with the evolution of MarchFourth over the years, you’ve probably noticed that in recent performances the concerts are less about the madcap theatrics and more about the music — about perfecting the band’s brass-infused mix of funk and rock.
That was a creative choice for the band as it worked on its most recent album, 2016’s “Magic Number.”
“We came out of the gate with this huge spectacle, and the spectacle bought us time to develop as a band,” MarchFourth co-founder and bassist John Averill said during a previous swing through Aspen. “And now what’s happened over the last couple years is a major shift in the improvements of the musicianship and the material.”
Averill and his crew dropped the “Marching Band” from their name and dropped some of the theatrics for the sake of playing a better concert.
For “Magic Number,” they focused their sonic energies to perfect the musicianship of the band. They holed up in New Orleans — their spiritual home and biggest influence — with Galactic saxophonist Ben Ellman producing. And they landed guest spots from Crescent City mainstays like Trombone Shorty, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and sousaphone player Matt Perrine.
“We immersed ourselves in that culture,” said Averill, who founded MarchFourth after performing at a 2003 Mardi Gras party in Portland. “So after we finished recording, we’d go out and see bands or just hang out and get in the spirit of New Orleans.”
Portland and New Orleans are a long way from Colorado ski country, but the high country has proved to be home away from those homes from MarchFourth. The band’s wild shows instantly clicked with the counterculture ski bum spirit when MarchFourth first started coming through here more than a decade ago. They’ve played nearly three-dozen different Colorado towns, covering more ground than many of us who live here.
“Colorado is a special place,” Averill said. “I don’t think there’s any other state that has small towns where everybody comes out like that.”
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