The Norm Ruebling Band adds 'funk and fun' to first home game

The Norm Ruebling Band as well as the audience speak on the musical experience at the first Mizzou Football Concert Series event.

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Mizzou Athletics hosted the Mizzou Football Concert Series presented by Say Insurance for the second year in a row.

This event takes place before each home football game and is located alongside the pre-game tailgate festivities in Tiger Town. Students, alumni and the general public have free access to the show.

This year’s first performer was The Norm Ruebling Band, the self-proclaimed number one band in Mid-Missouri.

Freshman Kate Morgan felt the band defied her expectations of what music at a tailgate is like.

“It’s not everyday you get to hear ‘60s music at a football tailgate, at least from what I’ve heard,” Morgan said. “I was expecting a pop band, but these guys added a level of funk and fun to the whole tailgate experience.”

Norm Ruebling, the leader and drummer of The Norm Ruebling Band, feels that he and his band take a more subtle approach at engaging an audience.

“We’re a bunch of laid-back guys that like to play and work really well together,” Ruebling said. “We don’t do laser light or any of that kind of visual stuff. We don’t get too excited about the venue or who we’re playing for. The crowd size doesn’t matter to us. We just love what we do and we have all been playing since we were real little. We all just kind of fell together in the last 15 years.”

Ruebling feels his band is unique in that some of the members have been playing together since their early adulthood.

“I have played in garage bands since I was 14 years old and that’s what I’ve done ever since,” Ruebling said. “I’ve been playing for over 50 years and in fact, I’ve played with some of these guys ever since I was in college.”

Ruebling believes being a ‘60s kid impacted the band’s musical style.

“We like to do a lot of horn stuff because we like that funk and soul,” Ruebling said. “I grew up in the ‘60s, so you’ve got to play some Motown and you’ve got to play some of those oldies. Some of our biggest inspirations are Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan.”

Morgan observed how MU alumni were thrilled about the fact that there was an emphasis on funk and soul at the show.

“I noticed a lot of Mizzou alumni who were totally jamming out because they knew some of the older funk songs the band was covering,” Morgan said.

Many students, MU alumni and certainly The Norm Ruebling Band enjoyed the musical aspect of the first MU football tailgate of the season.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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