The Macpodz groove at Mac’s Bar

carolthompson-fileIf you have ever seen The Macpodz, you probably remember. Whether it’s because of the band’s funky, upbeat energy, the improvisation breaks or the flute, a party with The Macpodz is not easy to forget.

Over their four years as a band The Macpodz, based out of Ann Arbor, has created a unique musical and onstage style. They play a high-energy fusion of jazz and rock music that’s totally danceable, as shown by the audience members any time the band plays.

One thing’s evident from seeing a Macpodz show: every person on stage is a master at his instrument. The band may lack discipline as a whole, but can easily pull off a show relying on improvisation and the individual talent of the musicians. The ad-libbing on stage only perpetuates the band’s groovy, entertaining onstage character.

On Thursday night at Mac’s Bar, the band opened their set following Cloud Magic with “Nine Lives,” a song not released on any of the band’s four albums. The band played through some of their older, beloved songs like “You Got Me,” new ones like “Six Doll Hairs” and broke into some halftime jams and an impressive, albeit extensive, drums and percussion break. Towards the end of the set, the guitarist from Cloud Magic Dave Menzo and harmonica player Craig Griffith sat in.

The Macpodz rely on festivals for exposure, and have played at big festivals like Rothbury and 10,000 Lakes and smaller, more local, festivals like Dunegrass and Harvest Gathering. They like the relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor festival and like knowing that they’re almost guaranteed an audience and some new listeners. Outside of festival season, the band tours the Midwest playing every chance they get.

The Macpodz will be back in Lansing on December 6 playing at Cram Jam with The Ragbirds, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus and Griff & John’s Afterhours Experience. In the meantime, check out the band’s music at their Web site and Myspace and make sure not to miss the next show!

Ross Huff (center) and Brennan Andes (right) of the Macpodz

Nick Ayers (percussion), Griffin Bastian (drums), Ross Huff (trumpet), Brennan Andes (bass) and Jesse Clayton (keyboard)

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