By Claire Bourgeois
April 7, 2015
CALGARY — The most accurate analogy to describe a set by Australian jazzy ska band Cat Empire is something akin to an old-time circus. Their MacEwan Hall performance in Calgary was accordingly crazy, wild and a whole lot of fun. The crowd had been drinking heavily and were ready for a good time, which the band members were obviously ready to give them. With trombones and trumpets, to bongs and a DJ booth, the stage was full of fun-time aids. The seven-piece band was also in party mode, dancing along with the crowd and having a great time.
The musicality was absolutely spectacular. The technical talent of each musician was highlighted separately within the songs through a series of long, complicated solos for each instrument, including the aforementioned alongside trumpets, drums, trombone, bass and keyboard. Even vocalist Felix Riebl took to the bongos for a feature of his own.
The night was a wild party for everyone involved, from the band members themselves to the packed audience. The sound was something unique to Cat Empire, a Latin take on old-school ska music with a jazzy twist. A strong emphasis on the band’s rhythm section really lent itself the wild dance party that continued on throughout the night, from the moment the band took the stage until the very end of the encore.AB, Alberta, Cat Empire, MacEwan Hall