! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Now that this year's City Arts Fest is over, I can take a step back and realize that I have been blown away by four solid days of an amazing array of (mostly) local bands, all giving Seattle some truly amazing sets. Each night showcased what the Pacific Northwest had to offer, and it was difficult to decide what venues to hit and who to see. Packing in as much as I could, I witnessed an incredible display of music spanning from pop to country to rock, and of course, took tons of photos.
The David Byrne / St. Vincent show was housed in the most perfect venue, that being the 5th Avenue Theater. The performance was brilliantly theatrical, with a choreographed horn section and Byrne and Clark's synchronized dancing (!!!) it really was entertainment of the highest caliber. It was almost overwhelmingly unreal. Love This Giant is one of my favorite albums that's come out this year and live, and I'm happy to report that the songs are even more over the top than they are on the record. What became clear about St. Vincent's songs -- especially those like "Cheerleader", "Cruel", and "Marrow" -- was how downright grand they became with the addition of an array of brass instuments. The crowd was pretty packed with David Byrne/Talking Heads fans or at least my section was; and yes, "Burnin' Down the House" was played in amazing fashion.
Been to the Neptune for a few shows already? Yup. Us too -- most notably that killer night we spent in the front row with Okkervil River back in June! While plenty has been going on there, technically, the venue hasn't been open-open, really, and still isn't yet. But it will be next week, and to celebrate the Real Official Grand Opening, STG will be kicking off a bunch of excellent, free events. Check it out!
Fresh from the press release:
"Through the spring and summer months STG operated The Neptune Theatre with a limited number of events as we continued to make significant improvements to the venue," said Josh LaBelle, STG Executive Director. "Now we're excited to bring you an explosive line up that includes events central to community involvement, beginning with five free public events - you'll also see local artists, concerts, comedy and film at The Neptune Theatre during our Grand Opening season, that runs from fall equinox right into winter solstice."
All events listed below. Doors at 6:30 / show at 7:30, money at no-thirty! It's all free! Seating is first-come, first-served.
Sun., 9/25: Rocky Horror Picture Show
Full frontal festival environment with costume contests, complimentary hair & make-up and props! (Did we mention it's FREE?)
Summer wouldn't be summer without a sweet lineup at the Mural at Seattle Center during the month of August, and this year is no exception: our friends over at KEXP have put together another killer series of shows for 2011. As usual, it's all ages to rock, 21+ to hit the beer garden, and f-r-e-e FREE. (Although donations are gladly accepted at the KEXP tent, we're sure!) "Doors" are at 5, bands start at 6, and each Friday is hosted by a different DJ. It just doesn't get much better than that. Check out these bands and hosts!
Host: DJ El Toro
The Maldives / Hey Marseilles / Black Whales
Host: Troy Nelson
Seapony / Gold Leaves / Math and Physics Club