Rumspringa performed in Naia lounge last Friday, February 26. Image courtesy of the author.
I swivel my head to the back of the colorful Naia lounge. Surrounded by about 60 standing, head-bobbing, rained-out concert-goers, the band mates of Rumspringa are well into their hour long set. The bright, painted concrete and low ceilings provide an eclectic backdrop and underground feel for the alternative venue -- the lights are dim, the surroundings are cozy, and the music is a fitting centerpiece for the colorful environmental array. I notice that Naia offers the seemingly strange combination of both sushi and gelato, an appropriately obscure mixture that beautifully parallels the funky versatility of Rumspringa.
Upon my somewhat early arrival, I was one of about ten other people in Naia. However, this changed dramatically. The size and energy of the audience grew by the minute, as Rumspringa’s sound grabbed the attention of outside passersby. Both the drummer and guitarist/singer of the two-man (with an occasional addition of a tambourine player) group performed barefoot. The guys were absolutely at ease with their surroundings and their own sound.
I have had a lot of difficulty putting my finger on the sound of this band. They definitely break the mold of any typical musical categorization. You see, their style is truly variable and range-y. During one song, they may take us down a dirt road in the Midwest, with an acoustic guitar and a high energy beat combined with a few vocal twangs. Suddenly, they might transport us to a dark, tightly packed warehouse, filling it with a persistent techno beat, but then we are swept away into the psychedelic MGMT-esque sound of electric rock.
Rumspringa does not like to linger. It’s like they don’t want to overstay their welcome in any musical genre, although they could comfortably fit into many. Their versatility is a truly unique, admirable trait for a musical group. They keep us guessing, as they continually open new doors to new sounds.