featuring Diet Cig
January 25, 2019 at Paradise Rock Club
New York-based Diet Cig is comprised of Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman. The pair’s playful energy successfully filled the sold-out Paradise Rock Club in a multitude of ways before the headliner, Rubblebucket, ever even showed their faces. As she sang “I just wanna have ice cream on my birthday,” Luciano skipped across the stage, not missing a square inch with her spirited dancing and high kicks. Not only did she fill the stage with her youthful presence, but the oddly shaped Paradise Rock Club was absolutely packed for their opening set. Just before the last song, Luciano requested that everyone in the crowd “kiss that coworker they [were] there with,” met with excited murmuring from all of the concertgoers.
The energy was high as Diet Cig left the stage; a blue light doused the crowd, setting the tone for a loud and animated conversation. Fans eagerly shared tidbits of information about the relatively obscure headliner, showing off their knowledge of the quirky band members. As the members of Rubblebucket made their way onstage, I was struck by the rhythm of their performance. The steady thump of the drums was visibly marked by the synchronized routine all of the performers were in on.
A notable song of their set was “Lemonade,” a self-described “salty… and tart song.” This piece seemed to be a reflection on the reasons why a relationship ended; something that may be based in reality for the two leads in the band, Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth. The two began their latest album as a pair and finished it amid a separation. The awkwardness of a couple post-breakup was hardly displayed during their set, as the two danced around the stage together throughout the duration of the show. The whole band was intentionally in sync, with coordinated funky dance moves and sidestepping throughout their performance. The combination of this synchronization with the outlandish movements themselves was beautifully eclectic; at one point, two screens on either side of the stage lit up with bright colors, providing a backdrop for dancing shadows in technicolor.
Just before the end of the show, Traver and Toth reminded the crowd of a band tradition; they requested that everyone take a knee, no matter where they were standing. After they counted to four, each person stuck one finger in the air and bellowed the word “love” as loud as possible four times. The intention for the finale of this tradition was that everyone begins jumping at the same time, however, the crowded PRC hardly allowed the space required for that kind of movement.
Throughout their set, the band maintained a high level of energy until it reached an inevitable peak. Upon this climax, Traver and Toth stepped into the crowd whilst playing the saxophone and trumpet, respectively. It was then that the theme of the night was really nailed in; the energy of the crowd kept the lively band afloat throughout their entire performance. Whether you went into the concert as a diehard fan or just a curious critic, one thing is certain; you left breathless after a joyous night of dancing.
Photos by Zoë Sommers