The YoungBlood Brass Band
Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Auditorium
Friday, Oct. 7
Every once in a while, I rue the day I quit trombone. There I was, first chair as a freshmen, unable to brave the intrinsic dweebishness of marching around at halftime wearing spats while my friends and, more importantly, potential romances were sitting in the stands or, to be precise, under the stands, sipping lime vodka, rotgut wine and exchanging pheromones and furtive smiles. I chose the lure of nightlife over being a bandoid and the jury remains sequestered in its Ultimate Judgment on the case.
On Friday, at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Auditorium, the judges reached a partial verdict: dumbass. Yes, as I sat in the front row barely able to contain myself in front of the rocking dork riot of the YoungBlood Brass Band, I realized I had really screwed up. My trombone prowess could have found fruition in a band like this.
Born in Madison, Wis., this nine-piece band is comprised of two trombones, two trumpets, one sax, one tuba and three percussionists. Their musical range covers hip-hop, jazz, funk and all points in between, with radical shifts in tempo and tenor. Straight-ahead New Orleans drunken brawl jazz served to honor their fallen comrades. If this was the muzak, you'd want to live on this elevator.
The sound quality didn't suffice, as the vocal raps were nearly impossible to discern, but that's perhaps because I was directly in front of the trombones, close enough, in fact, to duck when the spittle valve was opened at the end of the slide. By the end of the show the mighty crowd was on its feet and dancing - how often does that happen in a fine arts auditorium?
YBBB has played the Patio a couple of times, where a ready dance floor and bottomless beers would complement this bodacious band quite nicely. Perhaps some lime vodka, too. Check them out at youngbloodbrassband.com.
Jim Poyser is Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, a statewide organization that was one of over two dozen nonprofit partners in Greening the Statehouse. A former managing editor of NUVO, he won HEC’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2013.