Recap: Thursday Night @ City Arts Festival

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TomTen– After seeing this band live, it made complete sense why they won EMP’s Sound Off competition. Made up of Brian Noyeswatkins, Lena Simon, and Jake Brady the tripod of musicians performed a perfect introductory course for new listeners in the audience featuring tons of new music including one I’m looking forward to hearing on their next album, ‘Pipe Dream Boy.’ Thanks to the usage of an organ inspired keyboard paired with the pure white spotlights beaming down on the band, the Crocodile transformed into a sort of retro-50s style prom. Based on what I heard the TomTen is the sort of band that would fit right in to any Wes Anderson flick, with the subtle nuances and themes that have become standard in his now famous soundtracks.

Throw Me The Statue– It’s quite possible Throw Me The Statue was my favorite “new to me” band of the weekend. After hearing immense buzz about the band from just about every preview of City Arts Fest I read, I knew I needed to catch as much of this set as possible and I am insanely happy with my decision. Sorry A Fine Frenzy, I love your voice and am so happy I got to catch a few songs, but I know I made the right choice by returning to the Crocodile to see my new favorite Seattle band. I had friends label Throw Me The Statue as “passion pit-ty,” but I think that’s completely selling them short. This is from the same family of electro-rock without doubt, but with more authenticity and more dancing. Yes, more dancing. Playing a set focused primarily on new material, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person in the crowd left wondering when I’d be able to dance around my living room blasting all the new feel-good tunes offered up by Throw Me The Statue. Soon Scott Reitherman, soon please.

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground– Following Throw Me The Statue at the Crocodile was the 84 piece band Kay Kay and his Weathered underground. Okay, they’re not that big, but when the band assembles onstage they’re an impressive sight to see. Their stage show is energetic and everything you would expect if you’ve ever heard one of their albums, but as great as they could be I just couldn’t stomach the pompous attitude of Kirk Huffman. Front men notoriously have big personalities and it’s sort of a necessity when commanding a stage with so many members contributing, but Kay Kay’s ringleader was just too arrogant to stomach. I understand his undeniable talent as a vocalist, and as band leader he’s got charisma and has helped to create one of the most unique ensembles in town. So while I may not be able to give Huffman a great review, I can give my well gin and tonic and the rest of his band two thumbs up!

Ghostland Observatory, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

Ghostland Observatory (Laserdome)- Ghostland Observatory + A LASERDOME. To say I was excited about this band/venue combination would be a huge understatement, and based on the lines outside the Pacific Science Center and the numerous hopefuls hanging around wishing for tickets I was far from alone. Entering the familiar dome, the band had a performance area sectioned off armed with massive speakers and strobes. As the floor space crowded and the seats filled, the lights dimmed and the pair of Texans that make up Ghostland Observatory entered and thus began one hell of a dance party.

Ghostland is as known for their laser shows as they are for songs like ‘Sad Sad City,’ but although this space is touted as the Laserdome, many fans were left disappointed by the display or lack there of. If you looked above there were flashing lights and vibrating spirals, but as most of the crowd was upright and dancing all that was happening against the ceiling wasn’t taken in. While the lasers may have been a touch lackluster in comparison to what crowds saw Friday at SoDo, Ghostland’s set was basically perfect and singer/guitarist Aaron Behrens was completely marvelous. If there is a better dancing cowboy out there, I haven’t encountered him. Behrens bounded from speaker set to speaker set, dancing atop any available surface and if you weren’t there and wanted an idea of what it looked like, check out this GIF photographer Amber Zbitnoff created from their SoDo performance.

 

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