Rebirth Brass Band hit Austin at The Belmont on Nov. 26. Mikah Shalom and The Babylonians started things on a Roots Reggae vibe, with some Fela Kuti inspired sprinkles on the side, to get the crowd’s blood pumping in preparation for Rebirth.
Hitting the stage with possibly the shortest introduction known to man, Rebirth made it clear they did not come to mince words as the eight-man band blasted The Belmont with the trademark sound that could only come from New Orleans.
Rebirth blasted The Belmont with the trademark sound that could only come from New Orleans.
The band consists of two trombones, two trumpets, a sax, a tuba, a snare, and a bass drum. They made sure that bodies were in motion and stayed that way. It’s no wonder they were tapped for the HBO series Tremé and have a shiny Grammy Award.
Founded in 1983, Rebirth has a reputation, and it shows. Bodies filled the venue, bordering on uncomfortably packed. The band ran through many originals and standards, even giving the well renowned Ray Charles tune I Got A Woman the big brass treatment, not to mention interpolating the Westcoast Luniz classic, I Got Five On It, bridging the past and the present with great results.
These brothers recognize the need for the party: maintaining a self-aware, salt of the earth presence, never taking themselves too seriously, but providing a flawless presentation. The attendance was mixed with avid fans and newcomers alike, all joined together for the same purpose: to get down. And get down they all did. They kept the party going like Jesus at a wedding through their two-hour set. Rebirth barely stopped and kept the breaks to a minimum with the understanding that the party is a marathon, not a sprinting race.