Ralf and I went on a DATE Friday night, a real date with a babysitter and everything. Just to clarify, the babysitter stayed home with the boobies while we went out. We went to see La Brass Banda, which is a Bavarian student brass-mariachi-ska-techno-punk group that brings the house down.
Seriously, these boys can play large brass instruments while jumping around without a pause for two hours. And everyone else jumps around, too, which is always worth seeing in Germany because as a general rule Germans have no groove thing.
The exception to this is Ralf, who is pretty fly for a white guy.
We crammed into a packed basement with a bunch of students and professors from University of Freising (which is pronounced 'Fry-zing' not 'Freezing') and the getting down commenced. And except for the regrettably tall and curly (and unwashed) hair of the male student in front of me, it was just plain amazing.
There was much shaking of one’s funky stuff.
To give you an idea, there was no place to sit and we had to stand for an hour before they started. My feet hurt and I was already counting the minutes until it would be over. This is not because I’m getting older, you understand – I was always like this. There are not many things that could have made me forget my uncomfortable feet but La Brass Banda did.
The lead singer of La Brass Banda is apparently a Bavarian farm boy who took to the trumpet like a duck to water. There was no question of him becoming a butcher or baker or farmer or whatever it is his dad does in his hometown because he is a bugle boy. He plays the trumpet like it is part of him. I’ve never seen anyone play anything like that, like there is no physical barrier between the musician and the music.
About four years ago, before we moved to California for three years, Ralf and I paid a lot of money to see Herbie Hancock in concert. He was good but the evening was unmemorable. And he introduced a famous trumpet player who did nothing but stomp around the stage shaking his head and playing the occasional note because ‘he couldn’t find the mood.’
In striking contrast to this overpriced professional musician, the bugle boy and his lively band have no difficulty finding the mood day or night and the tickets were only EUR 15.
What struck me most of all is that these boys were having FUN up there. Real, honest to goodness fun, the kind that has a hint of naughtiness and ‘shhhhh… I won’t tell if you won’t.’ Remember that kind of fun from the good old days before work and taxes and mortgages and insurance paperwork took over your lives? Genuine fun is a rare and precious commodity that the we were not slow to appreciate.
So addictive was this intoxicating sense of fun that we screamed desperately for 3 encores and would have made those boys jump around all night if we could have.
If you live in Germany and have a chance to see La Brass Banda in action I warmly advise it. It’ll make you feel young again.