Hazelwood Motel conspicuously played their nimble nocturnal ravers and disturbing lullabies to help open the sprawling-on-a-strip-of-Ballard magnificent REVERBfest 2008. The band has enticed new fans of late thanks to KEXP, who made the band's paradoxically effervescent and bleak "Break Myself In Two" a Song Of The Day recently,
Blinking his eyes at the 4 PM daylight, songwriter/co-vocalist/guitarist Ed Vierda allowed his anxiety-driven confessions to bleed all over the stage as Megan Pickerel played a brightly colored antediluvian keyboard for bubbly notes and texture and vivaciously sang as well (sometimes lead), whilst spry drummer Patrick Smail kicked it all along garage band-style with no harm to the delicacy of tracks like "Are You Trying To Get Away?" and "Sparkle In The Sun."
The audience seemed like a lot of older "civilians" who wandered in to hear more mature fare than the rest of what was cranking it out up the street at REVERBfest (I heard Blood Red Dancers slammed the Sunset hard). They seemed to hang on Vierda's every word, and furiously applauded between bouts of completely silence, in thrall to the band's sincere, no pretension playing.
Hazelwood Motel's next show will be on November 1st at the High Dive (for Brent Amaker's new CD release party) and if you love bands like Wilco and Giant Sand but wished they were more intimate and less conceptual or over-the-top, the one-from-the-heart stylings of this band will warmly embrace your needs.