Kal is absolutely smothered in gold glitter. Her neon green curls are springing above the all-seeing googly eyes glued to her forehead. It’s a beautiful look, like some terrific, exploding craft project, with confetti surely on the way. She’s first prize, papier-mâché, science fair stunning – and all the men are dressed to match. Her four eyes gaze down at me, the plastic ones wobbling, and she reaches out in a slow flourish to grasp my hands. The sparkling mess on her skin clings eagerly to mine. She drifts away as the crowd watches on, resting her head on my shoulder and the closest one to it. It’s a 10-second embrace at most, but it’s the only moment of the night that doesn’t move at lightning speed. And it’s all the love of Rubblebucket, captured in one quiet breath.
For their Friday show at Brooklyn Bowl, the lightning first struck with the trippy, 8-bit riffs supplied by 2001. Grooving with a feel-good, sci-fi vibe, the duo shook us with their popping beats and misty vocals. Badass opener #1 met badass opener #2 when Parlour Tricks took the stage. With all three frontwomen rocking matching black dresses and white go-go boots, they enchanted the crowd with a blur of groovy incantations, their spooky-sexy dancing right in synch with the retro rock.
As always, the screams started long before Rubblebucket’s show did. They’re more of an experience than a band, and sold-out house seemed to have that figured out. With power couple Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth charging things up, the full group was soon cutting up the stage, shuffling instruments, and tearing through brass features like they ate adrenaline for breakfast. But all eyes were on Kalmia as she leapt from amp to amp, launched into handstands, and even sailed over the crowd in an inflatable raft.
Rubblebucket’s sound is filled with a gooey center of complex melodies, and huge, heroic riffs that are impossible not to freak out about. Snagging micro-doses of gold from a variety of genres and eras, songs like “My Life,” “Sound of Erasing,” and “Shake Me Around” are filled with all the promise and joy of the very first record you owned. They took the love and spread it fast, while the endless rush of confetti formed happy little ghosts around them. “Why can’t it always be fun?” Kalmia sang in “Origami.” With Rubblebucket in the world, it always can.