Imagine your typical high school marching band. Now cut it in half, and cut it in half again. Then age them, add some instruments that you wouldn’t usually see, some informal cheerleaders, and then let them “march” wherever they want and however they want. Throw in some rebellious and quirky style, and you will have something along the lines of Mucca Pazza. Since I was unable to attend their show in early July 2011 here in Nashville, I wanted to at least spread some hype about this totally original, unique, and independent band. From what I heard, their show at Exit/In was outstanding, so allow me to describe this remarkable phenomenon that is Mucca Pazza.
I saw Mucca Pazza for the first time when they toured through my college two years ago. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a 30-piece circus punk marching band, but it was definitely something that I had to see for myself. This is one of the most memorable concerts that I, and anyone else that has ever been to one of their shows, will never forget. Mucca Pazza is a 30-piece circus punk marching band from Chicago, Illinois. The band contains instruments and members that you would not find in a typical marching band. They have cheerleaders, accordion, electric guitar, mandolin, violin and a megaphone to name a few. They have played at Lollapalooza, Rothbury Music Festival, and Tour de Fat. The band was even featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2006. Their repertoire encompasses themes from Shostakovich and Bartok, covers of 60s TV show themes, and even Balkan-brass covers. Balkan-brass originated in the 19th century when trumpeters in the Serbian military transposed Folk music to music they could play in a more upbeat style during rough times. Here is a video of Mucca Pazza performing “Peace Meal” at Tour de Fat 2010.
Playing on each other’s instruments, interacting with crowd members, and dancing around the venue is all part of what makes Mucca Pazza an outstanding show. The venue is their stage, and who knows where they’ll end up during a performance. This is originality at its finest. I’m not sure what I would do if I was their tour manager, but they seem to keep their crew of around 30 members in tact. What a band! Don’t miss their next show August 19 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL.
By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC