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Wednesday night’s rain forecast forced DuPont Brass, the nine-piece, horns-forward band scheduled to open Strathmore’s “Live from the Lawn” series, into the indoor Music Center instead. Surely their upbeat music (which fuses jazz, funk, R&B, and hip-hop) couldn’t generate the same casual but intimate party vibe in a cavernous concert hall, right?

Oh, yes it could. If the band’s formative years as Metro buskers taught them anything, it’s how to get people involved in their music — never mind the setting. “We call that a warm-up,” vocalist Isaac “Deacon Izzy” Bell explained after the jazzy opener, “Come Close.” “Now we’re gonna try to set this stage on fire a little bit.” When they launched into a go-go-charged version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” my 12-year-old looked at me with undisguised delight. That’s when I knew Dupont Brass had this crowd in the palm of its hand.

DuPont Brass takes a big step with its first tour

Even that turned out to be a warm-up. It was with the next tune, the driving “Get You,” that things really got going. Bell urged the audience to stand up; most of them did, and few sat down again there wasn’t any reason to. The band kept us on our toes, burning through the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps In the Dark”; a gorgeous “Pure Imagination” (from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”), featuring trumpeter Anthony “Ant” Daniel; and their smooth, joyful original “’Til the End,” with trumpeter Jared “MK Zulu” Bailey taking over the lead vocal.

The house wasn’t anything close to full, but the crowd made up in energy what it lacked in numbers. It moved to the beat in waves. At one point, three women were line dancing in the aisle. And it wasn’t just them: whenever the horn players (Daniel, Bailey, trumpeter Chris Allison and trombonist Matt “Fuzzy Da Plug” Thompson) weren’t playing, they were dancing too.

Driven mostly by Howard U. musicians, DuPont Brass hit its stride on D.C. streets

The indoor environment wasn’t a perfect substitute for the Lawn. The sound system had clearly been set up in haste: Brent “Bass Heavy Slim” Gossett’s sousaphone, massive as it was, was usually lost in the mix, and Bell’s vocals were often muddy. The price of staying dry, perhaps — but none of it was enough to tamp down Dupont Brass’s unfiltered soul.

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