What IS in Euforquestra’s Soup?
EUFORQUESTRA | Iowa City Yacht Club, IA | Performance Review
Contributing Writer : Elliott Beenk
Photos by Rob Elliot
Similar to an episode of Lost, with each live show of Euforquestra some musical mysteries are answered, yet key questions remain. After seeing the band perform around a dozen times now, the biggest mystery left is how the band continues to keep their performances as fresh and exciting as the first time I saw them.
As I sat in a cramped auditorium frantically taking the first midterm of the semester, only one thing was on my mind- And it wasn’t the test. I constantly checked the clock and the one thing I could think about was not missing any of that night’s Euforquestra show. That night they would be playing at their old stomping grounds, the Iowa City Yacht Club, a place guitarist Mike Tallman calls “a staple of any Midwest tour.” With that knowledge, I turned in the test and made an early exit to catch Euforquestra’s first set.
Originally hailing from Iowa City, IA, Euforquestra relocated to Colorado’s front range in August of 08’. The seven piece band describes itself as “Afro-Caribbean-Barnyard-Funk” drawing on diverse influences like jazz, funk, ska and reggae. They’ve honed their craft by extensively touring and by playing over 300 shows in the last 3 years with acts including The Kyle Hollingsworth Band, another project for the keyboardists for The String Cheese Incident. They’ve also appeared at festivals including Wakarusa, Summer Camp, 80/35, the Iowa City Jazz Festivaland their own festival: Camp Euforia.
Needless to say, I was excited.
I arrived a bit early to the Yacht Club while the band was still setting up and the crowd was small and stagnant. It was a typical sight for a 9:00 start, but I knew what was in store for the night. No matter how thin and disinterested the crowd may have looked at the beginning of the night, Euforquestra never fails to crank the “dance party” knob to 11, and by the end of the show they did just that. As soon as the band started, the crowd quickly pushed forward, more people piled in, and feet began tappin’. They ended the first set with “The Events of December 11” which started out as a loose jam about struggling without power in the winter, culminating in a colossal guitar solo by Mike Tallman. The song managed to parallel the buildup of the night as a whole, leaving the crowd wandering aimlessly until they could [as Euforquestra put it], “dance for your sister and dance for your brother” to the second set.
The song mentioned is featured on Euforquestra’s third and most recent CD “Soup”, which is the product of years honing their craft through extensive live touring. It’s also available for free download from the band’s website, http://www.euforquestra.com/, if you’d like to experience that which has come to be known as Euforquestra’s “Soup”.