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Public Property plays one final show

BY DEE FABBRICATORE | DECEMBER 17, 2009 7:30 AM

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This New Year’s Eve, three bands will jam in 2010 with old friends.

Iowa City bands the Uniphonics, Euforquestra, and Public Property will join for a blow-out show at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St. All three bands will play a one-hour set, then join at midnight for what Public Property frontman Dave Bess calls “Public Euforia” — 15 musicians cranking out original and cover songs on the Englert stage.

In 2006, the Eufoquestra members lent a helping hand to their Public Property pals by throwing a benefit to raise money to replace the band’s stolen equipment. So it is no surprise that Bess expects this New Year’s Eve to be filled with “plenty of love and unity, no doubt.”

This isn’t the only warm-and-fuzzy tidbit to celebrate. The show will also mark Public Property drummer Ben Franklin’s last show after four years touring with the progressive-reggae band. After the strike of midnight, Public Property will officially be on a hiatus until further notice.

The Englert has decided to stay open as late as any Iowa City bar that night and allow of-age patrons to drink alcohol.

“This will be a good way to bring in the New Year because the show will be super high energy,” Englert CEO Sean Fredericks said. “There’s a huge area following and a sound and vibe that are perfect in this space.”

The combination of Public Property’s final concert, a large number of local fans, and celebratory drinks appears to be a recipe for an unpredictable show. All three bands perform an eclectic jumble of music.

“We play ska, some hip-hop, some rock influence,” Bess said. “Reggae is the foundation, and all the other genres and influences are what we build the house with.”

Throw into the mix Eufoquestra’s afro-beats and the Uniphonics’ gospel-funk fusion, and the audience can expect to quite literally ring in the New Year, with ears buzzing after the night is over — and perhaps even after New Year’s resolutions fade.

Bess said he has a couple: To learn to tango and to become a better person.

“I think the band’s resolution is to have a resolution regarding the future of the band and the direction we want to go in,” he said.


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