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ReViewed: Mucca Pazza at the Hideout

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 9, 2006 2:00PM

Mucca Pazza
The gallery closes, now what? Drinks are in order, but where? The Hideout gets offered up, we jump in a cab and head over there. The front bar is packed, but we snag a table in the back near the stage. People with trombones, trumpets, guitars and violins start filing in and putting their instruments on the stage. This keeps going on and on and on. The instruments are piling up everywhere. Percussion all along the back. Now we notice a couple of girls in cheerleading outfits. Who's playing tonight? We look around and see mismatched marching band uniforms on people mingling about.

What is this? It's Mucca Pazza - the astounding circus punk marching band. Now if anyone had told us we needed to see a marching band, we would have branded them insane. The sheer impossibility of getting 25 people ranging from 22-40 years old together for a gig, let alone putting them all on a stage, having them learn choreography, and not mentioning that a lot of the songs are originals and having it work? Never. But, it works unbelievably well!

It's cacophonous. It's nostalgic. There's a song that sounds as though every fight song is being played at once. There's another one called "Karlonian (sp?) Mambo". There are old Czech songs. Dissonance seems to reign supreme ala John Zorn or any of Mike Patton's schemings. Each member gets their moment in the spotlight and everyone on stage (not to mention the crowd - and it was a full house) was enjoying their moment in the collective chaos.

Mucca Pazza will be playing again at the Hideout for February 19th's inaugural event for the League of Chicago Music Venues. This is a collective of the intimate bars where we all love to see music (Hideout, Martyrs, Hothouse, Metro and others) that is banding together in a show of solidarity to Daley's ongoing fight against smaller bars that aren't clumped into "entertainment zones" ala Navy Pier, Rush Street, etc.

Some nights perfectly align and Friday was one of those, thanks to Mucca Pazza.