City Arts Fest is the best local festival to come about in quite a while. While quite a few national and international acts are brought in, the core and heart of City Arts Fest lies in celebrating local music, art and venues. Friday October 19th at the Crocodile represented what this festival is all about: A home grown bill from top to bottom all four bands came to rock.
Unfortunately I showed up a little late and admit that I missed the opening set by the Swearengens. I really wanted to see the band named after Ian McShane’s Deadwood character, but no luck there. I promised to catch one of their shows soon.
I showed up shortly before Land Of Pines took the stage. Their music is in the same vein as the Lumineers and the Head and the Heart, albeit with a slightly heavier edge. During the intro to “Following,” the ghost of Nick Drake made an appearance. The structure and delivery of the lyrics exhibited a definite Drake influence.
Next up, Cody Beebe & the Crooks took the stage for their first Seattle show after successfully pulling off the first annual Chinook Fest a few weeks ago. Newly married drummer Chris Green is still celebrating. For this show Drew Fletcher filled in behind the kit after only two rehearsals. He didn’t miss a beat. Cody Beebe & the Crooks launched into their set like a force to be reckoned with and put on a straightforward rock show. “Waiting For You” and the breakdowns on “Change of Pace” were particularly strong. Eric Miller’s archival video editing provided an entertaining backdrop. The solos, as always, were amazing.
The headliners, Ravenna Woods, performed an energetic, xylophone filled set to close out the night. Matt Badger made the most of his stripped-down drum kit, the sound filling the room. The manic energy and guitar of Chris Cunningham kept the crowd alive and rocking late into the night. Brantley Duke makes the most out of the xylophone, one of the most unlikely – but awesome – instruments you’ll find in a rock band. The intricate, speed-acoustic guitar on numbers like “We Want It All” and “One Fall” sealed the deal. They ended the show with the adrenaline still pumping. This show is what City Arts Fest, at least the music side, is all about.
Land of Pines