Vampire Weekend at Climate Pledge Arena

Vampire Weekend @ Climate Pledge Arena – 6/20/24
Review & Photos by Mike Mitchell

Indie pop darlings Vampire Weekend and a roomful of happy, dancing fans celebrated the first day of summer at Climate Pledge Arena in mid June. Founding band members Ezra Koneg, Chris Baio, and Chris Thomson, and a complement of touring musicians played a long and well-received set composed of most of this year’s Only God Was Above Us, choice selections from each of their previous four releases, and a handful of well-considered covers. Opener (and Phish bassist) Mike Gordon joined the headliner for a mid-set rendition of Phish’s ‘Chalk Dust Torture.’ Climate Pledge was the largest venue Vampire Weekend has played in Seattle to date and they made the transition to the large stage and room gracefully. They will be touring across the US through October, before moving on to Europe at the end of the year.

Vampire Weekend – all photos by Mike Mitchell

Photos: Alex Baird @ The Royal Room

Alex Baird @ The Royal Room – 7/3/2024
Photos by Kirk Stauffer

It was an evening of beautiful music with local jazz singer Alex Baird at Royal Room.  Packed with friends, family, and even her former music teacher, it was her last show with a full band before she moves to California to pursue a graduate degree at California State University Long Beach.  Backed by Dylan Hayes (piano), Martin Budde (guitar), Tony LeFaive (bass), and D’Vonne Lewis (drums), Alex performed mostly original material from her Lemon Tree album.  During her second set, she cleared the stage and treated the audience to a tune while she sang and played piano.  Let’s hope Alex returns to Seattle after graduation.

Alex Baird  – Photos by Kirk Stauffer

Cage The Elephant electrifies Seattle with epic comeback tour at Climate Pledge Arena

Matt Shultz of Cage The Elephant performing at the Climate Pledge Area.

After a five-year break, the band made a triumphant return to a packed house, headlining their Neon Pill tour at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena. They kicked off their set with “Broken Boy” from their 2019 album “Social Cues,” and right from the start, the energy was through the roof. Lead singer Matt Shultz was all over the stage, showing off his signature jumps amid bursts of fire.

Over a 90-minute set, the Kentucky-based band played a mix of hits and deep cuts from their six studio albums. They were clearly having a blast, with guitarist Brad Shultz (Matt’s brother) doubling as a hype man, keeping the crowd amped up with his antics. The band was tight and on point for all 21 songs.

Guitarist Brad Shultz of Cage The Elephant performing at Climate Pledge Area.

Seeing a band live is always great, but it’s something else entirely to be at a show where the whole arena knows every lyric was surreal. While the band didn’t talk much between songs, but prior the encore, Matt Shultz shared a heartfelt moment, acknowledging how tough the past few years had been for him and thanking the fans for their support. The context certainly provided a lot more emotional weight as he performed 2011’s “Shake Me Down.”

Lead singer Matt Shultz performing one of his trademark leaps during their performance at Climate Pledge Arena

Cage the Elephant delivered an epic performance that left the crowd wanting more. As I left the Arena, I couldn’t help but feel the band’s energy as the crowd around me danced out the venue.

Opening for Cage The Elephant were the indie rockers Young The Giant, who brought a relaxed, earthy vibe to their set. They captivated the crowd with fan favorites like “Cough Syrup,” “Superstition,” and “Mind Over Matter.” Their mellow style was a perfect complement to Cage The Elephant’s high-energy performance.

Photos: Taking Back Sunday w/Citizen @ Showbox SoDo

Taking Back Sunday w/Citizen @ Showbox SoDo – 6/5/24
Photos by Charitie Myers

Taking Back Sunday‘s Adam Lazzara – photo by Charitie Myers

Taking Back Sunday and Citizen are still charging through the States, and the duo were in Seattle on June 5th. Lucky for us, Showbox SoDo had the Long Island headliners on stage! The rock quartet, who crashed a wedding last year, also released an album in 2023. Called 152, it received a 4/5 from Kerrang! Nice!

Taking Back Sunday – photos by Charitie Myers

Citizen – photos by Charitie Myers

Photos: WINEHOUSE @ Neumos

WINEHOUSE @ Neumos – 6/19/2024
Photos by Kirk Stauffer

Olympia-based WINEHOUSE performed at Neumos last week.  The high-energy band played a wide variety of genres – indie, rock, jazz, pop, funk – you name it!  Fronted by core members Sarah Burke, Chivan Lim, Josh Hill, and Aiden Taylor, the band included to crowd’s delight, “Pretty Lips”, with its catchy saxophone solo, in their set.  The popular song has racked up over 8M streams on Spotify alone.

WINEHOUSE  – Photos by Kirk Stauffer