Foot On The Pedal

13th Annual Honda Civic Tour: GROUPLOVE and Portugal. The Man
Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA
08.10.14

Carrying on the grand tradition of economical, reliable cars, art, and music, GROUPLOVE and Portugal. The Man take on the headlining duties for the first leg of the 2014 Honda Civic Tour. Marymoor Park turned into a musical haven on a gorgeous August Sunday, as patrons marched through the grass to find the perfect spot to park their buns. The heat of the day was waning, and the beer tents were stocked. Seattle was given the honor of being the first date, and we made good on it.   

Local Portland neighbors Typhoon, a complex and orchestrated 11-something, struck the first chord on the hour and officially kicked off the tour. Their music was sweet and sublime, calming and provocative; surprisingly light and delicate for as many hands, yet taking aptly-timed opportunities to snap listener from thought with rupturing drums and horns. All members of Typhoon partake in vocals; there is a certain beauty on stage as they all bellow synchronously. Their sound was crisp and clean and enveloping. A perfect sunset band.    

Just as the real estate around Marymoor was becoming more scarce, Portugal. The Man took the stage and bodies could be seen en masse exodus from grass to stage. This scene looked eerily familiar, as Portugal had played a secret set not 24 hours before for The End’s Summer Camp, on the same stage, and had received the same frenzied reaction. The remaining dusk diluted the stage fog and carefully planned lighting, but it didn’t matter. They opened their set with a trippy cover of Another Brick in the Wall, and one could watch the air turn green. As a co-headliner, Portugal. The Man played 15 songs, spanning just over an hour. Their last song, Creep in a T-Shirt, was played with Alex Rose from Minus the Bear. Hit it, Tasty!

Alternately, GROUPLOVE took this evening’s last spot. As the audience awaited their arrival, the Beatles’ Come Together blared through the speakers. All smiles, GROUPLOVE took the stage with energy and excitement, starting off their set with I’m With You. Before playing Tongue Tied, keyboardist Hannah Hooper prefaced the song, saying, “When I was young, I’d go over to my friend’s house, smoke a fat bowl, make a bunch of weird art, and watch Dazed and Confused.” No more explanation necessary. Singer Christian Zucconi said that playing this tour with Portugal. The Man was like a dream, and expressed his admiration for opener Typhoon. GROUPLOVE played 14 songs, closing out a perfect summer evening with Colours.

Portugal. The Man Set List:
Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)
Purple Yellow Red and Blue
All Your Light
Kilo (Ghostface Killah)
Hip Hop Kids
Evil Friends
Day Man (Charlie Day)
Everything You See
Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis)
Atomic Man
The Sun
Senseless
Modern Jesus
Creep in a T-Shirt

GROUPLOVE Set List:
I’m With You
Itching on a Photograph
Borderlines and Aliens
Rasberry
Shark Attack
Hippy Hill
Didn’t Have To Go
Tongue Tied
Drunk In Love (Beyoncé)
Bitin’ the Bullet
Slow
Close Your Eyes and Count To Ten
Ways To Go
Colours

Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunita Martini

GROUPLOVE
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Portugal. The Man

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107.7 The End’s #10HourPromise: Summer Camp 2014

107.7 The End Summer Camp 2014
Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA
08.09.14

Seattle’s go-to alternative radio station, 107.7 The End, put on another great Summer Camp at Marymoor Park on Saturday. The all-day affair, which ran from about 1:00 to 10:00, saw a sold out audience and a generally amazing ambiance. The sun was shining, the music was killer, and all was right with the world as we sat on the green, green grass…

There were plenty of accommodations around the park, including an array of food trucks, lots of picnic tables, multiple beer and wine huts, and of course plenty of space to pick a spot and park your blanket. The stage area also had generous floor room, so one could enjoy the show up close and dance the evening away. 107.7 was also very accessible if anybody wished to stop by their tent and say hello. GregR, Pepper, Manley, and Zach, the friendly voices on the other end, introduced the bands throughout the night, in addition to some random chatter and comic relief. They’re all a bunch of lovable goofballs!

Supporting this year’s Summer Camp were Chaplin’s Bellevue Volkswagen, Xfinity, Kokanee, and the USMC. Check out this year’s lineup in the photos below and find out who performed a secret set for the Camp Fire Sing Along slot! And no, it was not GregR, thankfully.

Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunita Martini

Phantogram

After an obligatory wait, the headliner for Summer Camp 2014 finally took the stage in screaming darkness. Moody and mysterious, Phantogram members Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel brought an absolute magic to the stage. Deep red lights backlit their shaded forms as they danced away to their mechanical madness. Technical difficulties plagued the first two songs, and in the fix, Carter told the mass they were here to “celebrate life and love and music.” Phantogram jammed for nearly an hour, playing a clutch of hits, including Fall In Love and Black Out Days. They capped off a day that, in all reality, couldn’t get much better.
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Bleachers

As the sun grew dimmer, Bleachers took the stage in glorious, rock star fashion. They made the most of their time, striking a great balance of chatter, energy, and music. They wedged a cover of The Cranberries’ Dreams into their set list, predictably saving their hit I Wanna Get Better for last. Front man Jack Antonoff, also the guitarist of Fun, thanked 107.7 for hosting, adding that New York is void of having such an awesome radio station. As a child of the 80’s, Antonoff humorously told the crowd that, for anyone growing up in the 90’s, they were automatically friends. Parents with teenagers disregard.
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Portugal. The Man (Camp Fire Sing Along)

This slot was billed as Camp Fire Sing Along. Luckily, it didn’t go down that way. After GregR convinced the audience to sit down and get comfy, Pepper called off the nightmare Kumbayah session before they both introduced surprise act Portugal. The Man. This band has quite a few ties to Seattle, and were already scheduled to play Marymoor the following evening. From my grassy spot, I saw folks leap off of their blankets like antelope, running to the stage in a frenzied panic. It was quite entertaining, and so was Portugal. The Man. They played a shorter set, pumping out, in order, Purple Yellow Red and Blue, All Your Light, Kilo (Ghostface Killah cover), and Evil Friends.
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The Orwells

Do I have an hour to tell you about this band’s 30 minute set? Animated, hilarious, and explosive. Singer Mario Cuomo gave a fitting preface to their set: “We’ve been at home jacking off, playing with our girlfriends, watching movies, smoking doobies, but we’re baaaaack!” Running in and out of the crowd, Cuomo lamented the loss of his favorite sunglasses in the mayhem. Sorry dude. The Orwells pulled off an interlude of Build Me Up Buttercup, which was simultaneously funny and unsettling. As a package, their set was top notch. When a beer can flew in their direction, Cuomo gave this jab, summing up the collective thoughts on Seattle: “Why don’t you throw a hot cup of Seattle’s Best at me? Or how about a copy of Nevermind?” Touché.
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SKATERS

Cranking it up to the next notch in what would be a very loud and amazing evening, SKATERS brought their rambunctious energy and impeccable humor to the Summer Camp stage. This group released their debut album Manhattan back in February, and, breaking from the norm, decided to play their in-your-face single Deadbolt in the third slot of eight songs. As the crowd jumped to and fro, singer Michael Ian Cummings, aka MIC, jokingly asked if there was anything he could get for them. “You guys doing alright? How about a latte?” (I don’t think this audience needs any more caffeine, MIC!) Before closing, they took the time to thank The End for being one of the first stations to play them. Rock on.
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Bear Hands

What a great set. The sun was shining and the feet were moving. Bear Hands took hold of the stage and never let go, pulling the crowd out of their lunchtime lull with their catchy sound. Their sophomore album Distraction was released earlier this year to much acclaim, sending their single Giants into the alternative Top Ten. Bear Hands fed off of the energy from the crowd, which will hopefully keep them in good stead as they travel all over hell and creation this fall. Singer Dylan Rau parted with, “We love Seattle, we love you guys, have a great night!”
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Wild Cub

Wild Cub brought their brand of alternative pop to the stage with a roar. Currently on tour, this band is finding a solid foundation in the states while also receiving great feedback in the UK. This group is based out of Nashville, after singer Keegan Dewitt decided that the hectic pace of a New York lifestyle didn’t allow him enough time to focus on his music. With a great cast, Wild Cub has churned out a debut album along with an album of remixes in a very short period of time. They wrapped up their Summer Camp set with their hit single Thunder Clatter.
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Sir Sly

Taking the third seat was another L.A. band by the name of Sir Sly. Maybe you’ve heard of them? You have if you listen to The End. This band is rad. As we anxiously anticipate their debut album on September 16, their smash hit Gold has already found its way into infinite playlists. Singer Landon Jacobs was so pumped by the crowd that he took his first shot at crowd surfing as they played their last song, saying afterward, “thanks Seattle for being my first crowd surf ever!” This event has been well documented by photographers, and it was epic.
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Bad Suns

L.A. Based Bad Suns is setting about on their fall tour, and, as a fairly young group, are running in to quite a whirlwind of excitement. Having released their debut album Language & Perspective only a few months ago, their album single Cardiac Arrest has found its way into rotation in radio stations across the country. People in Kansas are dying to see this band. They had great stage presence, as singer Christo Bowman had plenty of energy and upbeat chatter throughout their set. Bad Suns played eight songs, with their hit track in the seventh slot. I can’t wait to see these guys again.

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THUMPERS

Trimming down their usual mass of friendly stage collaboration, THUMPERS duo Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. visit us from London, this time with just a few helping hands. “Normally, we have like 100 people in our band.” It’s all good, because they sounded amazing anyway, and they took the opening slot and ran away with it. Between songs, one guy in the audience shouted, “You’re the only reason I’m here today!” Awww. Somewhat speechless and super humbled, they continued to beat down the airwaves, ending their set with their hit Unkinder (A Tougher Love). “Clap your hands along, and all will be good, and we’ll all have ice cream!” Count me in, Pepperell.
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Dovble Date: This is Love on the Rvn

CHVRCHES
Showbox Sodo, Seattle, WA
08.08.14

The magical threesome CHVRCHES brought their infectious electronic pop sound to the Sodo Showbox for two fantastic shows this week. Their original single date of Thursday simply could not satiate the demand to see them perform, and they consequently added a Friday date into their already bustling schedule. Though their second night didn’t sell out, it certainly was full of people, and offered folks a chance to enjoy CHVRCHES in a somewhat calmer atmosphere with only one opener.

Comprised of singer Lauren Mayberry, guitarist Iain Cook, and synth whiz Martin Doherty, their true talents run far and wide and can’t truly be pegged into particular roles. While they all take hands in the synth production, they also share the vocal responsibilities. This group has certainly found a rhythm between themselves, and it’s easy to see why they’ve cultivated such a following in such a short amount of time. Their formula is solid, and exists in a genre that has yet to be stifled by normalcy and archaic expectations.

Mayberry took to some lighthearted chatter between songs. She thanked everyone for coming out on a Friday night, and talked about having to catch an early flight on Saturday. Her morning alarm had been set incorrectly, and all these things were making her anxious. She seemed very delicate, and one could hear her breath in the microphone as she humorously lamented about sleep. They do, in fact, have quite a jammed schedule, heading to Canada, Portugal, and the UK over the next two weeks. I hope they find some time to rest between the glowing lights and the clamoring fans, and, of course, to make more amazing music.

The opener for this evening was Portland’s very own Summer Cannibals, whose debut album, No Makeup, has officially circulated for one year now. Since then, they’ve spent time polishing and evolving their grit and fuzz, and will be happy to lend you a copy of their latest work, an EP entitled Make You Better. This foursome has a date with Bartfest in Spokane next month, and you can always catch them in their hood south of the border. They have a monster stage presence, so be prepared to jam along.          

Set List:

We Sink
Lies
Lungs
Gun
Night Sky
Strong Hand
Science/Visions
Recover
Tether
Under the Tide
The Mother We Share
Encore:
You Caught the Light
By the Throat

Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunita Martini

CHVRCHES
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Summer Cannibals
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Dance ’til You’re Dead (but don’t forget to call out sick)

DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler of Arcade Fire)
Barboza, Seattle, WA
08.07.14

Win Butler of Arcade Fire, aka DJ Windows 98, played a gig at Barboza Thursday night. The event was quietly promoted, and with a maximum capacity of 200, this show seemed more like a private dance party with Butler and crew. While opener Sam Spiegel, of N.A.S.A., gave the gift of dance to the dark mass downstairs, Butler wandered around the room, donning a couple of different masks that he randomly traded out. His height gave him away.

He stood silently with the crowd to enjoy Spiegel’s handiwork, and periodically stopped at the bar for refreshments, which plenty of patrons were happy to assist him with. As I danced around in my tiny plot of floor space, it was unsettling to turn around and see his tall, masked frame staring over me to the stage. I felt suddenly obligated to dance more, as if I had to prove how much I was enjoying the show. It will be a very gray day when my enjoyment is matched by my dancing skills, because those will never improve. The surrounding crowd was very genial and respectful of his space, and Butler generally floated around without much interruption.

Spiegel played until 11:30, at which point DJ Windows 98 took over at a table located by the dance floor wall. However, he had a masked decoy set up at the stage table, and attention was humorously misdirected for a solid few minutes. Butler played an interesting, tribal-inspired mix, complete with drums, before going into a hilarious mash-up of Kanye’s I Am A God and Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain. The crowd laughed uncontrollably as the tracks switched from Kanye to Carly, clapping and throwing their arms in approval. Even Butler couldn’t contain his chuckles. This show, which may or may not ever have a sequel around here, was one for my own personal record book. For a $15 ticket, the memories were a steal.   

Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunita Martini

DJ Windows 98

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Time Warp Wednesday

Echo and the Bunnymen
Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA
08.06.14

A rare treat rolled through Seattle on Wednesday night, as Echo and the Bunnymen stopped at the Market Showbox to perform for a sold out crowd. Their current tour is short and sweet, hitting 13 cities in 19 days. Yep, that’s it, folks. After a five year draught, the Bunnymen released their new album, Meteorites, just a few months ago. Singer Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant are the only remaining original members of this Liverpool-based band, to which time has certainly tested their line-up on more than one or two occasions.

Their secret to youth and vitality? Well, our best guess was the coconut water and Naked juice that catered the stage. The Bunnymen opened with Meteorites, and even though it was new material, their sound was amazing and ageless. It could have been a set from ’84. Their stage was dark and filled with smoke, giving McCulloch and company plenty of opportunities to hide from the eyes of a very curious and pleasant crowd.

Opening the show was our very own local and luscious Prom Queen. A 60s-inspired solo project by Leeni, Prom Queen did not sport a band this evening; she did, however, sport an old prom dress and her signature telephone microphone. An echoing voice from the past, Prom Queen composes all of this wonderful sound from scratch, and the end results feel uniquely vintage. If you’re in the market for a Tarantino-inspired throwback evening (who isn’t?), look them up and catch them downtown.   

Set List:

Meteorites
Rescue
Do It Clean / When I Fall in Love / Sex Machine
Never Stop
People Are Strange
(The Doors cover)
Seven Seas
Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
Holy Moses
All My Colours
Over the Wall
Constantinople
All That Jazz
Bring On the Dancing Horses
The Killing Moon
The Cutter
Encore:
Nothing Lasts Forever / Walk on the Wild Side / Don’t Let me Down / In the Midnight Hour / Coney Island Baby
Lips Like Sugar
Encore 2:
Ocean Rain

Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunita Martini

Echo and the Bunnymen

Prom Queen