Photos: Portugal. The Man, H is for Hellgate and Alligators @ The Crocodile

The new Croc felt downright cozy Thursday night – people sat and chatted at the tables scattered around the main floor between the stage and the bar or stood in small groups chatting with friends. With Via Tribunali now open, you can order pizza (my companion’s looked and smelled delicious) and enjoy while watching the show.

Speaking of the show… Local rockers H is for Hellgate opened the night and warmed the crowd, coaxing people from the tables to the stage. I’m fascinated by multi-instrumentalists and multi-bandists – Hellgate’s Jamie Henkensiefken (aka Jamie Hellgate) is a frighteningly good guitarist and powerful vocalist, and in The Redwood Plan, she’s a bass player with talent to rival Hellgate’s Ben Baier, who also plays in We Wrote The Book On Connectors and is arguably one of the most gifted and dedicated bassists in Seattle. Drummer Jon Jacobson rounds out H is for Hellgate’s sound. I’ll never tire of seeing them live.

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There were Alligators at The Crocodile last night and they rocked! I was not prepared to enjoy them nearly as much as I did – the music was heavier than myspace led me to expect and their vocals were truly impressive.

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So much ado has been made of The Croc’s sparkling restrooms that I had to snap a photo as proof that nearly a month into the reopening, they still shine as they did opening night.

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Portugal. The Man is a wonderful force and an incredible live experience. They mixed new songs with established favorites and powered through a set that was over far too quickly for me. Originally from Wasilla, Alaska, I hear a northern-ness in their music, almost tribal at times, that draws me so strongly to our regional sound. I’ve not yet made the leap from live shows to listening to Portugal. The Man’s recordings, but last night might have pushed me over the edge.

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Hmmm… with Indie Record Store Day taking place all over town today, I might have the perfect excuse to pick up a few CDs from their impressive catalog.

See more photos or add your own – our flickr pool is here.

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