The amazing LIGHTS brought her Little Machines Tour to the Showbox at the Market on November 15th. She featured songs from the recently released Little Machines, her third studio album, as well as the 2012 Juno-nominated for Best Pop Album of the Year, Siberia. (LIGHTS herself won a 2009 Juno in the Best New Artist category.) The interaction between LIGHTS and the audience was incredible – frequently reaching out to the audience and even walking on the barricade during a song. LIGHTS’ tour will continue in Canada, then it’s off to Europe in January.
The Acid, a band surely making some of my musical dreams true, made their first appearance ever in Seattle when they opened for Alt-J in October. The trio comes from all over the world: Adam Freeland (Britain), Steve Nalepa (California), and Ry X (Australia). Together they created a beautiful album, Liminal, and to hear songs from that work in the Paramount Theatre was luscious indeed. Their dreamlike music produced some shivers, especially with songs “Basic Instinct” and “Creeper.” Their sound moved from a peculiar trance state to moments of house beauty. A perfect choice to share the stage with Alt-J.
Seattle’s Pickwick and Kishi Bashi, plus D.C.’s the Dismemberment Plan had spots at this year’s Bumbershoot Festival. Pickwick, who, on Facebook, lists the Space Needle as their home, are absolutely hometown favorites. After releasing their first album in 12 years, called Uncanney Valley, punk rock outfit the Dismemberment Plan has made all their fans very happy. Innovative artist Kishi Bashi (Kaoru Ishibashi), a violinist experimenting with pop, and, really everything, is currently on tour. He’ll appear at Seattle’s Neptune on January 27th. All photos by Abby Williamson:
Bumbershoot usually brings together old and new bands into one collage of music all over the Seattle Center, but you don’t often get the experience of seeing a once-loved local band coming together for a reunion after a five-year hiatus. That’s what Schoolyard Heroes brought to the table on Sunday. After gaining praise in the EMP’s Sound Off competition back in 2003, their energetic alternative goth rock garnered a huge audience, and it sadly only lasted to 2009. Here’s hoping this reunion was not a one-off thing, because it’s like they never stopped playing shows – that’s how good they were.
Vocalist Ryann Donnelly owned the stage better than anyone else the whole weekend, and put on a better show than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. It also didn’t hurt that the crowd was filled with the most excited group of kids all weekend. Seriously, how cool would it be to have your favorite band play a reunion show at the festival that essentially started it all?
Schoolyard Heroes found their niche in this city, and since they stopped making records, there truly hasn’t been another band like them around – at least not coming out of Seattle. They embodied the ecstatic youthful angst that permeated the teenage years of the now-twenty-somethings, and it came rolling back with a vengeance. It was nostalgia that I never thought I wanted, but it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Schoolyard Heroes’ performance was one of those shows that made me wish that I’d gotten into photography earlier than 2009. As Donnelly strutted across the stage and Jonah Bergman swung his curtain of hair around, all I could think of was, “why did I never get a chance to see them before now?!”
Hopefully it won’t be the last time.