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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Peace, Love and the RX Bandits”

    Frequent Tucson visitors, the RX Bandits stopped by Club Congress on Wednesday night for a show with Zechs Marquise and The Builders and the Butchers. Despite a slow start, with crowds not coming in full force until The Builders and the Butchers performed, it was a high-energy show. Though it was a midweek show and the band had already visited over the summer, the turnout was strong and the performance even stronger.

    Low-energy instrumental band Zechs Marquise took the stage first to warm up the club’s small crowd. By the time The Builders and the Butchers were onstage, the venue was packed. The band, formed in Alaska but based in Portland, blew fans away with their complex, poetic lyrics, old-time bluegrass-inspired sound and fantastic stage presence. The band includes upright bass and mandolin and implement tools — such as a cut off horn — to manipulate their sound. The Builders and the Butchers owned the stage, but by the end of the set the crowd was ready for RX Bandits.

    The band did not disappoint. RX Bandits fans packed the floor and the energy  was electric. By the time the band finished their first song, the crowd was going wild. Despite a mini mosh pit incident in which one boy took an elbow to the eye, the crowd was well-behaved and rocked out intensely. The crowd even allowed the young man, ice pack pressed to his eye, to slide back up to the front.

    There is something about the RX Bandits’ positive message that enthralls their fans. Their lyrics promote peace, respect and the rejection of consumerist ideals and mass media images of beauty. They sing strong anthems for youth looking for a voice of their own. In a world where most popular music boasts negative images of violence and sexism, the RX Bandits are a breath of fresh, peaceful air. To hear a crowd of young people chant, “”We’ve had enough of these politicians’ wars. All we need right now is love,”” and be obliged by an intense encore performance of “”Overcome (The Recapitulation)”” is a reminder that there is still hope for the future — a future of great positivity and even better music.

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