REXBURG – The Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center is hosting a big Christmas party this Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. with Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand stopping by to play their 2022 Christmas concert.
Shupe’s Christmas shows are known for combining top-notch musicality with energetic performances and a cozy holiday atmosphere. The concert will feature some of the most popular Christmas classics in different musical styles. (Click here for tickets.)
“Our music is like rock ‘n’ roll bluegrass,” Shupe told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s rooted and our shows are a great family time.”
Shupe has been making music since an early age, singing and playing several instruments including the mandolin. After forming RubberBand, Shupe and his bandmates began gaining national notoriety with their 2005 album Dream Big, which peaked at #13 on Billboard’s US Country Albums chart.
The band gained a reputation as a high-energy live act, although their Christmas shows differ from their regular performances in a few key respects.
“The Christmas show is a little more acoustic, a little more music, and we’re having a little more fun than our shows,” Shupe said. “We’re trying to make the Christmas show different than our summer shows, but it’s still fun. It’s not a crazy Christmas show, but it’s still upbeat.”
The Christmas show features much-loved Christmas carols performed in styles ranging from bluegrass to reggae and everything in between.
“When I started making music, I was like, ‘I’ll just make music that I like and I don’t stick to any genre,'” Shupe said. “I mainly wanted to try playing multiple genres on acoustic instruments. Well, when you hear a song, you’d say, “They sound a little reggae,” and you’re right. And the next song you’d be like, ‘Oh, they sound a little bit rocky,’ and that’s right.”
Along with all the genre hopping, The RubberBand’s live shows give musicians time to play solos and show off their instrumental skills.
“Most of[the solos]are quite improvised and that’s part of the fun for the band,” Shupe said. “It keeps us entertained as musicians because this is our place to branch off and go with the flow.”
The fun factor also plays a major role in the selection of the set list.
“Setlists are a bit tricky because you have to get them in the right tempo,” Shupe said. “Generally,[the setlist]comes from playing shows and seeing what’s going well and what people are reacting to. Also, the audience can see which songs the band likes to play the most. It’s a balancing act between fast songs, slow songs, songs people know and songs people haven’t heard. And we try to stay away from the songs that aren’t fun.”
The band loves playing their jam band version of “We Three Kings”, the accelerated tempo at the end of the version of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and the harmonies of their arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High” . There’s a very good chance these songs will show up during Saturday night’s show.
Shupe said he’s looking forward to playing in front of Rexburg crowds again.
“I like the crowd in Rexburg because it’s a bit livelier,” said Shupe. “They get into the music a little bit more, it’s kind of fun. You can tell they want to have a good time and that’s fun.”
You can catch Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand’s Christmas Show this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center. Click here for tickets.