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Ryan Shupe Christmas Show rolling into Rexburg this weeked

Arts & Entertainment

REXBURG — The Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center will host a great big holiday party this Saturday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 pm, when Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand drop in to play their 2022 Christmas concert.

Shupe’s Christmas shows are well-known for combining top-shelf musicianship with energetic performances and a cozy holiday atmosphere. The concert will include some of the most beloved Christmas classics in various musical styles. (Click here for tickets.)

“Our music is kind of like rock n’ roll bluegrass,” Shupe told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s roots-based, and our shows are a great time for the whole family.”

Shupe has been making music since early childhood and sings and plays several instruments, including the mandolin. After forming the RubberBand, Shupe and his bandmates began to gain national notoriety, with their 2005 album “Dream Big” hitting #13 on the Billboard US Country Album Charts.

The band gained a reputation as a high-energy live act, though its Christmas shows differ from its regular performances in some key ways.

“The Christmas show is a little more acoustic, a little more music, and we have a little more fun than our shows,” Shupe said. “We try and make the Christmas show different than our summertime shows, but it’s still a fun time. It’s not a crazy Christmas show, but it’s still upbeat.”

The Christmas show features much-loved holiday songs executed in styles ranging from bluegrass to reggae and everything in between.

“When I started out in music, I thought, ‘I’m just going to make the music that I like and not stick to any genre,” Shupe said. “I mostly wanted to try to play multi-genres on acoustic instruments. Now, if you heard one song you’d say ‘They sound a little reggae’ and that’s true. And the next song, you’d say ‘Oh, they sound a little bit rock’ and that’s true.”

rubberband 1
Courtesy Ryan Shupe Facebook

Along with all the genre-hopping, The RubberBand’s live shows give the musicians time to take solos and exhibit their instrumental chops.

“Most of (the solos) are pretty improvised, and that’s part of the fun for the band,” said Shupe. “That keeps us as musicians entertained because here’s our spot to branch out and go with the flow.”

The fun factor also weighs heavily in picking the setlist.

“Setlists are a little bit tricky because you have to get them paced right,” Shupe said. “Generally, (the setlist) comes from playing shows and seeing what goes off well and what people respond to. Also, the audience can tell which songs the band likes to play the most. There’s a balancing act between fast songs, slow songs, songs that people know and songs people haven’t heard yet. And we kind of try to stay away from the songs that aren’t fun to play.”

The band loves playing their jam band take on “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 those songs will pop up during Saturday night’s show.

Shupe said he’s looking forward to playing in front of a Rexburg crowd again.

“I like the Rexburg crowd because they’re a little more lively,” said Shupe. “They get into the music a little bit more, so that’s kind of fun. You can tell that they want to have a good time and it’s fun that way.”

You can catch Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand’s Christmas Show this Saturday at the Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center at 7:30 pm. Click here for tickets.

shupe fiddle
Courtesy Ryan Shupe Facebook

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