On Monday morning, before she got behind the wheel of the band van and chose to accept the tour manager’s “Mission Impossible”-inspired note that said to aim for Chicago, Rubblebucket singer and saxophone player Kalmia Traver swung by a Home Depot in the Cleveland area and purchased a supply of googly eyes.
There are a lot of different places that they could be affixed before the eight-piece band takes the stage Thursday night at the Bourbon Theatre.
Giant cardboard robot puppets, LED lighting rigs and a flowing “Love Tunnel” for crowd members to pass through have all been recent features of Rubblebucket’s reputation-building live act.
So too are a brass section, drums, keyboards, strings and whistle solos that set off breakdowns featuring all of the above, making a Rubblebucket show about as dance-friendly as music gets.
“It’s a fun forum for creativity that goes beyond music,” said Traver, who this summer has also taken to running out into crowds and face-painting willing attendees.
“I’ll just run out and -- I don’t know why -- I just do it,” she said.
It’s a move that might be more acceptable at summer festivals, where some of the concert-goers are already half-covered in body paint, she admitted. But if someone’s game Thursday night, she is.
She said it can be more of an instant human connection with someone than a conversation about the show he or she just saw, and that goal of instantly connecting is a big one for Rubblebucket.
Since the Brooklyn band first started playing four years ago, the members have pretty much ignored the fourth wall. Traver runs through crowds with regularity. In July, their performance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" resulted in a combination of crowd surfing and brass bombast.
“I really just enjoy it. It gets old standing on stage looking at people,” Traver said. “They come to us for fun, and we come to them for fun.”
The band is touring in support of its most recent EP, “Oversaturated,” which came out on Tuesday.