Rubblebucket recently came to Founders for a free show. It was packed, it was crazy, and it was amazing.

By the time opener Alexis took the stage, the recently expanded Founders Taproom was already packed (there was some space outside, but it’s December in Michigan so you’d have to be crazy or smoking/literally on fire to stand out there). The Grand Rapids duo, a last minute addition, was the perfect opener, and an energetic, eccentric sign of how the rest of the night would go. People were dancing, people were drinking, and the fun was only beginning.


Rich Aucoin took the stage next. His Facebook bio lists his musical genre as “Motivational Crowd Karaoke”, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Syncing music to viral videos (and oftentimes looping the video’s own sound), Aucoin makes party music for the internet age. He danced in the crowd, he danced on the bar, and occasionally he even danced on the stage that was provided for him. He blasted confetti into the crowd. Oh yeah, and at one point he unleashed a parachute over the entire crowd, creating the most ridiculous dance party I’ve ever seen at Founders, and I’ve seen hundreds of shows there (I work there and I’m also addicted to music and beer).

rich aucoin

It was midnight, I was five beers deep, and Rubblebucket was ready to take the stage. The seven piece genre-bending ensemble had an impressive stage setup, with neon streamers draped over the microphone stands and instruments strewn about everywhere. In the weeks leading up to the show, I heard numerous stories from friends and coworkers about Rubblebucket’s live performance, and I love their music, so I had high expectations. Rubblebucket did not disappoint.


The crowd had been waiting (read: drinking) for this moment all night, and were ready to dance. Kalmia graced the stage, her shaved head decorated with a neon heart. Alex and the rest of the band members followed, and the dance party started. It’s impossible to describe their music and live performance using fancy words, so I’ll go with “amazing, fun, and fucking awesome.”  Kalmia danced in the crowd. The parachute and confetti made encore performances. Alex crowd surfed while playing the trumpet. A middle-aged woman puked into a pint glass. Everyone had the time of their lives, band members included. Founders always puts on incredible shows (Recent shows have included Lucius, Meat Puppets, and Jamaican Queens), but this one was exceptionally great.

Rubblebucket guitarist


Photos by Jared Winkel