FIESTA! The David Wax Museum created a 360-degree musical experience.
The Mexicano Americana folk band the David Wax Museum's album-release party for Everything Is Saved at Oberon February 3 was a triumph in every way: musically, theatrically, even socially and politically - from the fair-trade chocolate and coffee being given away in the lobby to the simulated village street festival the band conjured inside, replete with trapeze aerialist to complete the carnival atmosphere.
The Wax Museum are a duo, with the band's namesake writing songs, playing various Mexican guitars, and singing, and Suz Slezak singing and playing fiddle and donkey jawbone. But at Oberon, they brought together a 12-piece band including everyone from the new record and then some. So at any one time you could hear and see on stage multiple guitarists (acoustic and electric), acoustic-bassist, upright piano, two accordions, trumpet, sax, trombone, and sousaphone in various combinations.
The band pulled all this off with optimal theatrical flair, making use of the surrounding balconies — the brass group materialized halfway through the first number, "That's Not True," playing as they descended from a balcony and walked through the middle of the crowd. Perhaps the theatrical high point was a 360-degree musical experience halfway through the 90-minute set that began with a street-brass band number on one balcony, overlapped to vocals, guitars, and fiddle on another balcony, moved down to the floor for a bowed bass solo and an a cappella vocal, and concluded with the foot-stomping 6/8 original gospel number "Let Me Rest."
And, oh yeah, there was that aerialist, who performed on a trapeze as she was serenaded from the balcony by accordions and tambourine. You could call a folk-music show with a trapeze artist over the top, but in this case, it was just about perfect.