Rebirth Brass Band at North Coast Music Festival | Music review
Promptly at 3:30, the Rebirth Brass Band fired up on the North Stage. The brass band from New Orleans—consisting of two trombones, two trumpets, tuba, a snare drummer and a bass drummer—wasted no time getting the party started. “Chi-town, how you doing? Are you ready to party New-Orleans style?” trombonist Stafford Agee asked before the group dove into a raucous cover of “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band. Only a few hundred people were on hand to witness the funkiness. “She like it like this/She like it like that” the group sang suggestively on one number. Their horn interplay was off the charts, as melodies zigged and zagged around thumping bass lines. They sounded like a marching band possessed by Parliament Funkadelic.
The sparse crowd was appreciative, if not fully invested. One kid in tie-dye and purple knee high socks danced vigorously, making up for those chit-chatting through the set. The group was founded 29 years ago by the Frazier brothers, who still man the tuba and bass drum. In between horn flourishes, the group elicited hip hop call-and-response cues from the crowd. “If you know, you know/If you don’t know, now you know,” they sang, strutting in place. Rebirth brought a little piece of the second line tradition up from New Orleans, providing one of the highlights of the festival in the process. After introducing the players during a roll call, and an off-color remark by Agee about female fans and their “breastuses,” Rebirth wrapped it up.