REVIEW: The Magic Groove Bus

I first watched Groove perform on my very first day in Ann Arbor. Tired, lost, and fresh off a plane from a small town in South Florida, I stumbled into Artscapade at the Umma, an evening of games, live performances, and crafts meant to introduce scared students to one of the University of Michigan’s artistic centers. Watching Groove perform through the thick crowd of people, I was awed by their incredible show. Having never played an instrument in my own childhood, I was amazed at how intricate, and yet how high-energy, the performance was. 

Flash forward two years, and I finally got to watch Groove again. One of Ann Arbor’s premier entertainment groups, Groove combines traditional instruments – drums, cellos – with non-traditional instruments – steel ladders, construction buckets – to create something truly special. At Friday night’s performance, “The Magic Groove Bus,” they blended together spectacular musical talent with hilarious comedy to wow the audience in a dizzying two-and-a-half hour performance. 

I don’t think there was any sort of cohesive theme for Friday night’s show, but Groove managed to weave together a bit about environmental destruction by evil corporations, a whole bit celebrating France, a bit titled “size doesn’t matter,” and so many more. Considering the amount of ideas compiled into one performance, it was actually incredible that they managed to fit it all in under three hours. However, the performance was so excellent that I could have stayed for the rest of the night. I don’t know how Groove managed to find a group of students all with such a unique stage presence, but the blending together of personalities made the show completely distinctive. Every time I thought the show was over, someone would start singing, or playing the cello, or doing acrobatics on stage, or pulling out a trumpet. There was a mind-boggling amount of talent on stage. 

At only $5 a ticket for students, Groove is an accessible performance for almost everyone. In fact, considering the quality of the show, they could have charged me $20, and I would have willingly forked it over. I now understand why Groove puts on only one show a semester: due to the length and complexity of the performance, I’m sure they needed countless months and hours to prepare. With an almost full audience at the Power center, I know I’m not alone in my opinion. The Magic Groove Bus was truly a sight to behold. 

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