Brooklyn band gets musical bus back on the road to celebrate election results

Rocking and dancing at Marsha P. Johnson State park were (L-R) Deven Williams ( obscured) , Casey-Leigh Jordan , Damian Kukulj, Laura Newman, Sebastien Gonzalez, Elliott LaRue, and Juan Gallego.
Photo by Bob Krasner

You can dance in the street without music, but it doesn’t hurt to have a great band on hand.

It was more good news for Brooklyn when the Abracadbra Trip jumped on the bus for the first time since December to provide a soundtrack for revelers celebrating the election results over the weekend of Nov. 7. Although the group, led by Laura Newman, usually gives free concerts in the East and West Villages, they decided to stay closer to home this time.

Most of the band lives in Brooklyn, and they determined that performing in that borough would feel like they were playing for their neighbors and hopefully avoid larger crowds that would likely greet them in Manhattan.

Dancing in the street.Photo by Bob Krasner

Playing a mix of originals — a blend of psychedelic rock, funk and a touch of reggae — and some timely covers (such as the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”) the Abracadabra Trip never lost their energy as they played from the afternoon into the night.

“We hadn’t done any shows in the city since December,” Newman explained. “Normally we would have started up again in April but COVID happened.”

Deven Williams launches a rainbow heart into the air.Photo by Bob Krasner

Sometime on the Friday night before the media called the 2020 Election for former Vice President Joe Biden, Newman said she decided it was time to get back on the bus. She called the musicians to organize the day, having no idea that the election results would be announced Saturday morning as they were putting the key into the ignition.

“We were ecstatic!” exclaimed Newman.

The group started at Domino Park in Williamsburg before moving on to Marsha P. Johnson State Park and then McCarren Park in Greenpoint.

“Everywhere we went, people were already lit!” she said. “We provided a space to celebrate and dance, and it was absolutely amazing.”

L-R Laura Newman, Sebastien Gonzalez, Juan Gallego of the Abracadabra Trip feeling it at Domino Park in Williamsburg on Nov. 7.Photo by Bob Krasner

Singer Elliott LaRue took a minute on stage (that is, the top of the bus) to say how he felt.

“This is a day to celebrate America and democracy,” he proclaimed. “It doesn’t matter who you voted for, it’s a celebration for all of us.”

Newman was succinct in summing up her experience on Nov. 7: “It was the most alive I’ve felt all year.”

Juan Gallego and Laura Newman feeling patriotic.Photo by Bob Krasner
The band played past sunset at McCarren park.Photo by Bob Krasner
Playing after the sun set, Laura Newman and Sebastien Gonzalez.Photo by Bob Krasner

The band can be followed on Instagram @abracadabratrip and on their website AbracadabraTrip.com.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.