Marching into town: MarchFourth takes the stage on Saturday
This Saturday’s iteration of the Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series will feature the internationally acclaimed marching band known as MarchFourth.
Called a “sonic explosion,” the band is comprised of 20 musicians, dancers and artisans who are taking the country by storm as they travel through the West for their 19th anniversary tour.
Explore Steamboat caught up with John Averill, band leader and bass player ahead of this weekend’s concert.
Explore Steamboat: First of all, tell me a little bit about the band in general and how it got started. Where did the name come from?
John Averill: A group of us put the band together for a Fat Tuesday party in Portland 19 years ago. The date was March 4, so we just named the band after the date, for better or for worse!
ES: It looks like it’s a big band. Are there challenges to having so many people in one band?
JA: Lots of challenges. Finding the right people who are talented and can do the jobs and work as a team takes time and patience. Then there’s the spacial and financial logistics of transporting and paying everyone, which is why we own a bus.
ES: Who writes the songs? Is it collaborative with so many different instruments?
JA: Most songs were written by a single composer, using the instrumentation of the band and writing parts. We’ve had several songwriters come through the band over the years, so our repertoire is based on the accumulation of all these songs, plus any new cover tunes we decide to do.
ES: I see that this concert is part of your 19th anniversary tour…has the band changed a lot in the past two decades?
JA: We’ve gone through more changes than I can count. The band has shed its skin so many times I hardly recognize the recent version of the beast. There are only two of us left from the original crew, and we have a couple of brand-new folks on this coming tour. But collectively – and in particular musically – the new version of the band is the best version ever. It was worth the wait.
ES: When performing live for audiences, what’s your goal?
JA: We like to rock! Our goal is to have a great time playing music together and uplift the spirits of all in attendance. That has always been our goal. We want people to dance and express their joy. You never know when the show you saw or played was the last you’ll ever experience, so we try to make the moment count.
What: Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series featuring MarchFourth
When: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19
Where: Steamboat Resort
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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