Trombone Shorty blows crowd away at Roots N Blues N BBQ

The band Trombone Shorty showed off stellar musicianship and showmanship at this weekend’s festival.

The high, shrill sound of a trumpet flooded the surrounding fields of Roots N Blues N BBQ as the crowd cheered on Sept. 30. For the past hour, more and more people had begun accumulating in front of the stage, waiting for this performance. Beverages in hand, they pushed up to the railing as the (not particularly short) members of Trombone Shorty took their respective instruments onstage. Finally, Troy Andrews bounded out onstage, trombone in one hand and trumpet in the other, to the center stage microphone.

Trombone Shorty’s Roots N Blues N BBQ performance was a great one this year. Troy Andrews possesses all the necessary qualities of not only a great musician, but a great performer. Bounding around the stage, dancing to his songs, encouraging the audience to get involved and interacting with his own band members, he was interesting and engaging, making for quite a show. His theatrics shone through in moments such as after a long trumpet solo, when he fell backwards dramatically, leading to excited cheers from the audience.

The real show, though, came from baritone sax player Dan Oestreicher. Oestreicher stood out in his colorful plaid shirt and multicolored shorts. His outfit wasn’t the only colorful part of his performance, though. He drew eyes to himself as he danced along to every song, toting an enormous saxophone. Oestreicher rocked his instrument with a wild intensity that blew the audience away. Part of Trombone Shorty’s charm is their unique instrumentation, and they could not have found a better saxophonist than Oestreicher. His beautiful tone blended seamlessly with the bass guitar, giving it that edge the instrument is so famous for.

Oestreicher stood out even before Andrews announced that it was his thirty-sixth birthday. “Happy birthday, Dan Oestreicher,” he shouted into the microphone to a screaming crowd as Oestreicher captivated the audience even without his saxophone, “getting down” to the rest of the band’s music with a dorky breakdancing routine. His goofy personality brought an extra bit of fun to the performance.

Beyond stage presence, the music itself was outstanding. Not a single musician was disappointing in their solos, especially Andrews, whose trumpet and trombone skills were a force to be reckoned with. With the band’s namesake trombone in hand, his skills blew the audience away. It’s not particularly uncommon for a band to use trumpet in a song, but Trombone Shorty’s mix of typical instruments created a brand new appeal. The instruments, though not usually seen together, all complimented each other nicely, giving Trombone Shorty an extra unique edge to stand out against every other band at the festival.

Trombone Shorty’s skill and showmanship made the band truly stand out at the festival. About halfway through the set, Andrews stopped and appeared to conduct the band in an act of improvisation, the music swelling and lowering with the movement of his hands, the beat following rhythms he clapped for the musicians. The talent necessary for acts like this improvisation is astounding, but this band possessed it and used it in every way possible to make for a fantastic show.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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