The wonderful John Legend released a Christmas album last year called A Legendary Christmas. Sometimes really great things like that happen in the world. Then something else awesome happened: Legend took that album on the road. Seattle’s WaMu Theater was one stop of the tour, where Legend fans enjoyed that album (nearly all tracks were performed,) and other Legend songs, such as “Save Room” and “Ordinary People.”
A Legendary Christmas, Legend’s first Christmas album, should be just one of many. Loads of other great singers (Dean Martin, for example) made more than one Christmas album. Legend should make this a thing, with annual tours. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The inspiring combination of Weezer and Pixies had a seven-week tour in the States during the summer of 2018. One of the dates was an August appearance at the outdoor setting of White River Ampitheatre, where the bands showcased so many of the songs you would desire from their awesome collections. Watch for Weezer’s twelfth album, Weezer (the Black Album,) out in March. And . . . the pairing of Weezer and Pixies went so well the first time, they’re touring together this year as well.
Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet performed at the Paramount in Seattle on September 7th, 2018.
Although they performed on a minimalist stage with just a single mic stand in front and keys and drums set in the back, rock band Greta Van Fleet’s audience got things off by going nuts. A haze of fog surrounded the quartet when they took the stage, which maybe hid singer Josh Kiszka, but definitely did not hide his howling, belting signature voice. It was immediately a Led Zeppelin-influenced beginning with the song “Highway Tune.”
The young quartet includes two twins, Josh (vocals) and Jake (guitar); and younger brother, Sam (bass) plus drummer Danny Wagner. Lead singer Josh Kiszka was shirtless, wearing a fringe leather vest and purple sequin pants. A woven necklace with feathers adorned his neck. It was a very 70’s-inspired look for the vocalist, who strutted the stage.
“Edge of Darkness” gave lead guitarist Jake the time for a huge guitar solo. About halfway through the song, and not missing a beat, he lifted the guitar over his head and played it behind his neck. He then proceeded to nail the solo without seeing the guitar chords. Meanwhile, singer Josh grabbed a tambourine and danced around the stage, occasionally returning to his mic to belt out one of his husky howls.
There were other chances for individual band members to shine. “Flower Power” slowed it down a bit, with bassist Sam taking to the keyboards. He got a nice solo about halfway through the song. For “You’re the One,” guitarist Jake switched to acoustic guitar. During the chorus, he leaned back on his twin, and they belted out the verse on the same mic.
By the time they thanked the crowd before the encore, the audience went wild again, and cheered for Greta Van Fleet’s return. For the encore, the audience loved “Black Smoke Rising.” When Josh asked, “Want another?,” fans screamed and sang along to “Safari Song.” This one was a shorter track, but we all loved the extended ending with the insanely badass drum solo, lasting a good three minutes.
Dorothy, a Californian rock/blues band, were the openers. They played a heavily ’70s-influence sound, with strong vocals by Dorothy Martin .
Greta Van Fleet returns to the Paramount for two nights, January 9th & 10th 2019.
Show Preview:Thunderpussy @ the Showbox, Mon. 12/31/New Year’s Eve! ~Dagmar
The bewitching quartet Thunderpussy rings in the new year on Monday, December 31st at the Showbox. I’m proud to say they are a Seattle band, one who worked with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam on their self-titled full-length debut. McCready played guitar on and produced the track “Velvet Noose.”
An all-female group, Thunderpussy’s Seattle date is the final 2018 show of a 22-date nationwide tour, which took them from home to California, Texas, Florida, Milwaukee and beyond. Guitarist Whitney Petty explained that “Being a lover of rock ‘n’ roll music for my whole life, you either have it, or you don’t,” . . . “If you find it, cultivate it, treat it like a wild animal, and tame that raw energy, but not too much. That’s what this is.” I agree with her! Oh, by they way, in addition to Thunderpussy, the women released an EP called Greatest T**s in 2018.
And see them in real life. Of so many bands out there, this is one who would be worth seeing any time, and on New Year’s Eve, even if that celebration isn’t your thing.
Mayday Parade, the Florida-based rock quintet, made their Seattle appearance of the Welcome to Sunnyland tour on October 21st. The tour took them to every part of the US with 39 dates! This year, Mayday Parade signed with Beaver Records, resulting in their sixth album, Sunnyland, which included the wonderfully-titled “It’s Hard to be Religious When Certain People Aren’t Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning.” Also, if you didn’t see the group’s tour diary, I recommend it.
California duo This Wild Life; former Yellowcard singer William Ryan Key and Texans Oh, Weatherly were on hand as openers.