MarchFourth Marching Band

Most people would consider this Portland, Oregon, ensemble a random troupe of eccentric oddballs. After all, who on earth tours in a decommissioned fire truck playing impromptu concerts on streets, subway stations and ferries while dressed in costumes made from bicycle parts or recycled thrift-shop outfits? Not many. But the fact is that this 35-piece product of the DIY phenomenon doesn't take itself too seriously except when it comes for the music. When performing, MarchFourth takes on an eclectic array of tunes, going from New Orleans-style jazz stomps, Slavic drinking songs, polkas and tarantellas, all the way to Maynard Ferguson's "Theme from Rocky," and pretty much anything else in between they can fit into a brass format. Unlike other marching bands, they don't use a tuba for their bass parts — instead, bandleader/founder John Averill plugs an electric bass to a battery-operated amplifier, leading the band while lugging the speaker behind him. In the meantime, dancers and acrobats make the crowd get up and dance, often with unpredictable results. In fact, fans have been known to drop everything and join them on the road, just as kids joined the circus in the late 19th Century. You are hereby forewarned.

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