North Adams, MA: When these thirty (30!) ex-band geeks joined forces in 2004, Mucca Pazza began a trip to the outrageous. Adorned with rainbow-colored pom-poms, riding mutant bicycles, and protected by hockey helmet-amplifiers, they torment and delight every community bold enough to welcome them in. Combining the spirit of punk rock with the fun of a fireman’s parade, Mucca Pazza’s impressive musical troupe takes over MASS MoCA’s campus, if not the whole town, for five performances throughout the weekend of August 16-18.
The members of Mucca Pazza (Italian for “crazy cow”) came together in Chicago, bound by the common goal of finding a musical outlet and having some fun. They got started by playing in factory parking lots on Sundays. “We figured no one would bother us in an industrial area,” explains sousaphone player Mark Messing. “It was also weirdly inspiring to be there, by ourselves, on the Chicago River, among all these big scrap yards. We felt like we were putting together something from scrap.” Crowds began to show up every week to listen, coffee and donuts in hand, drawn in by the troupe’s infectious excitement.