Review: Modern Art Tour Featuring Pretty & Nice, Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974, and Miniature Tigers At the Tractor Tavern March 1st

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On Thursday at the Tractor Tavern, the audience was excited to see the first night of the Modern Art Tour 2012. The four bands featured, Pretty & Nice, Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974, and Miniature Tigers, came to Seattle ready to impress and most of the acts did just that.

The first band who played are Boston based Pretty & Nice. As the first of four bands, they started off the night on a good note; playing music that was upbeat and high energy. Their songs are unbelievably catchy. I fell in love with ‘Tora, Tora, Tora’ for its catchy lyrics and easy to dance to beat, and one of the singers sounds a bit like Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays which just made me like their songs more. What I loved most about their set was how fun it was to watch; the band seemed to be having a really good time on stage- something that always makes for a better performance.

Mike Deni, Geographer

This show was a surprising one though in terms of line up. With the release of Myth earlier in the week, Geographer’s fan base is increasing at a rapid rate. Yet this fact seems to have been ignored when the tour was planned, as they were placed second on the bill resulting in an all too short set.

As limited as their performance time was, they certainly made the most of it, playing songs that got the crowd dancing. When they played, it didn’t matter if you were familiar with them before their set, their brand of synth inspired indie rock had your full attention. This trio is a tight one; they are clearly individually talented, and rolled together they put on an incredible show.

Playing new songs and old, they closed with their new single ‘Kites’ and left the crowd shouting for an encore. I could have easily watched them perform for another hour, their set was far too short and resulted in some disappointed fans – not for the quality of the performance, but just for the time limit placed on Geographer.

Having not heard The Chain Gang of 1974 before they came on stage, I assumed based on the other bands on the tour that they would put on a fun show. I was wrong, at least at first. With a sound more on the punk rock side of things (or punk rock lite in this case), they didn’t fit with the other bands at all. And while this was the first night of tour so things are bound to go wrong, the lead singer’s complaints did nothing to impress people – and spitting his drink on people didn’t help matters. While most of their songs weren’t anything impressive, last few songs were great and after listening to their record, I’m pretty sure that Thursday’s performance was a fluke.

Miniature Tigers at the Tractor Tavern

I’ve been hearing good things about the Miniature Tigers for a while now from their Seattle fan base. With their good old fashioned sunny day indie rock, they put the audience in a great mood. They are an easy to listen to band, and even if you hadn’t come to see them in particular, it was pretty hard not to like their music. As the headliner, they gave the crowd what they came for: a dance party.

They had great stage presence and the lead singer was great with the crowd. Overall, they may not have blown me out of the water, but they ended my Thursday night on a great note.

It’s hard to judge a tour based on its first night. This one undeniably had a few mistakes, but with the exception of The Chain Gang, they weren’t glaring and didn’t impact the audience’s night. The crowd got what it wanted, a high energy dance party to brighten up their night. Overall, I’d say this is a tour you should catch when it comes your way- dates can be found here.

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