Leave it to the local Rubber Brother Records to find unique methods of advertising.
The record label, known for releasing new recording via cassette, recently repeated something that’s quickly becoming a Rubber Brother tradition. This past Saturday, about a few hundred fans — braving excessive heat advisories and a dust storm — packed into the performing space at the Parliament in Tempe between McClintock Drive and University Drive to watch a “Round Robin.”
This type of set, where several bands bunch set up their equipment side-by-side on a stage, play several songs, followed by the next band, and then another, didn’t originate with the label, yet it fits well into their style.
“I thought it would be interesting to do a Round Robin because it would showcase multiple bands in a very short time-frame and also make for a more interesting show experience for the people watching,” Rubber Brother co-founder Robbie Pfeffer said.
For Saturday’s set, five of their bands (Playboy Manbaby, Treasure Mammal, Thin Bloods, Boss Frog, Wolvves) performed before a packed room at Parliament. Pfeffer, whose also a member of Playboy Manbaby, said that the people in the room stayed constant, even when the crowed had the opportunity to depart after seeing their desired band.
Pfeffer and his co-founder Gage Oleson co-opted the idea from electronic musician Dan Deacon, who did something similar on several tours, sometime in 2011. Although, they’ve had experience with Round Robins previously, this is the first instance of what Pfeffer calls a “streamlined” version of the idea: the first one ran all-day in an outdoor shop in downtown Phoenix, while the next instance occurred over a three-day festival.
Much was accomplished within the relative short time frame of a the pacing of their first regular set. Within a three-hour set, which ran on-time between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., one band plays two songs while the other four watch and then the next band takes center stage, followed by the next band, etc.
“Playing a Round Robin is undoubtedly more intense than just playing a normal show. You have to be engaged the entire night, it’s not a typical, play for an hour and go drink a beer type of scenario,” Pfeffer said.
Pfeffer considered the latest “Round Robin” a success, and fully expects to do another, but not before cultivating some of their individual acts in the near future.
The next upcoming show will feature The Thin Bloods & Playboy Manbaby and their latests releases (or cassettes) playing August 23 at The Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix.