The first time I saw Peter Parker was last year, at the Crocodile. I was on a first date, before I realized how disastrous the boy in question would be. So I barely noticed the band.
The second time I saw Peter Parker was at the Capitol Hill Block Party last month. I was between two other shows, baby-sitting my Mom, broiling in the heat, seriously over-caffeinated and over-stimulated. So I was too distracted to attend.
The third time I saw Peter Parker was on a glorious late-afternoon, for free, outside at Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheatre. This time, I noticed. Peter Parker sounded GREAT outside. They were more "on" than they had been at the Block Party (or perhaps, I was the one who was more on?), and the sound system was far better as well.
Before the show, Imaginary Boy Greg and I wandered to the food court to forage for dinner. Glancing around, I realized I had developed a food court fear approaching aversion. The thai cuisine looked like food poisoning… and the non-meat options elsewhere approached nil. I settled on Subway — safe, predictable, with its creepy iceberg lettuce and triangulated cheese! — and plopped down in the grass. Ahh, this was a Seattle Center show as it's meant to be enjoyed, without hoardes of people (a la Bumbershoot).
Peter Parker read my mind. "I like food courts," offered bassist Mona Parker. "They're full of options. All bad ones."
Peter Parker continued to delight me, both with their onstage banter and their song selection. According to singer Matthew Parker, they were playing songs from their first album because, "It suited the sunny day."
Indeed! I munched my sandwich and smiled along. With cheery little lyrics like, "You won't be happy til I'm happy makin' you happy!" I glanced over at my friend Greg, who likewise looked pleased.
"They sound really good out here," he said. "They reminded me a little of Archers of Loaf. They didn't necessarily 'sound' like Archers, but their tone and energy were right on. Lots of fun."
I know I raved about this in my last Peter Parker review, but I feel the need to restate how cute their young fans are! This show was once again sponsored by the Vera Project, so babies, children and teenagers were out in abundance. I just adore what the Vera Project does in this town, by bringing great rock acts to people of all ages! I just felt the need to gush gratitude once again… so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the work you all do.
"I was particularly impressed with the 10 high schoolers who were standing in the front. They were all wearing super-cool shoes… We didn't have much of a shoe selection when I was growing up," said Greg.
"I don't wanna go
to another show
By the time it's any good
There'll be no one left to pay attention," played the band.
In this case, so not true! I'm so glad I gave Peter Parker another listen. While I left the CHBP show indifferent, I left this show a fan. Are they now happy, knowing how happy I am that they made me happy?
(Or something like that…)
The fourth time I will see Peter Parker will be at Bumbershoot, at the EMP Sky Church, on Friday afternoon (at 3:30). For those of you who can take off work early for the Labor Day weekend, I suggest this as an afternoon rock and roll treat.