The eclectic jazz-rock outfit The Macpodz will be returning to Marquette to play back to back shows on June 3-4 at the Upfront and Company.
The Ann Arbor-based quintet is stopping in Marquette as a part of a summer tour across the Midwest, which includes slots at popular festivals like Summer Camp and Electric Forest. Known for their signature blend of musical genres, coined “disco bebop”, The Macpodz utilize elements of jazz, funk and blues to create their own unique, dance-inducing take on the traditional jam band. For students at NMU, who don’t have the privilege of catching a lot of non-local live music, seeing The Macpodz is not something to be missed.
“I really look forward to seeing [The Macpodz] play when they’re in town,” said NMU senior and local musician Gage Brogan. “They get the crowd into it and everyone ends up having a good time. I think my favorite thing about watching them play is the fact that they have such a full sound without even having a guitar player.”
Consisting of keyboardist Jesse Clayton, bassist Brennan Andes, percussionist Nick Ayers, trumpet-player Ross Huff and drummer Griffin Bastian, The Macpodz formed in 2006. The group played their first professional shows backing up political poet John Sinclair at small venues around Ann Arbor. Their distinct sound quickly earned them a steady following and the group released their first album, “Genius Food for Super Heroes” in 2007. They followed up with their second album, “Orcastrate”, in 2008, and a live album titled “Live At The Ark” in 2009. The Macpodz will be releasing their third album, “The Truth EP” in July, after recording in Lansing last winter.
Although the band has only released two studio albums, they have built notoriety around their epic live shows. The group had the opportunity to share the stage with several well-known acts in the same musical vein, including moe. and Umphrey’s McGee.
The bands extensive touring schedule has led them to Marquette several times in 2011 alone, most recently in April for a similar two-night set. “They just seemed like really stand-up guys on stage and off,” said NMU senior Steve Goulding. “Some jam bands can get repetitive pretty fast and lose your attention, but the Macpodz rock,” said Goulding.
The term “jam band”, which loosely applies to artists like The Macpodz that create unstructured instrumental pieces, is used in reference to an increasingly popular music scene. A genre considered by many to be pioneered by the Grateful Dead and continued today by artists like Phish and the String Cheese Incident. Festivals such as Summer Camp and Rothbury have become increasingly popular each year and draw close to 15,000 fans from around the country.
The Macpodz will be playing at 9 p.m. on June 3 and 4 at the Upfront and Company at 102 E. Main St. Both events are 21+ and tickets are $5. Visit www.upfrontandcompany.com for more information.