Last night Neumo's played host to Pagliacci's 2007 Battle of the Bands . Somehow, I was tapped for the judging panel alongside dynamic Crocodile duo>"/>
Last night Neumo's played host to Pagliacci's 2007 Battle of the Bands. Somehow, I was tapped for the judging panel alongside dynamic Crocodile duo Pete Greenberg and Eli Anderson, Stranger music editor Jonathan Zwickel and Easy Street's Matt Vaughn.
We were a motely crew saddled with an open bar, clipboards and pens and an entire night of bands we'd (mostly) never laid ears on before. It was a recipe for potential discovery of some aural gems, huge wince factor and definite hangover.
I'll spare you the full blow by blow, but highlights included:
The fact that each band contained at least one Pagliacci employee, which turned into a rousing game of "Guess the Pagliacci Employee" during each set.
The completely irony-free appearance of a Seinfeld-esque puffy pirate shirt (blouse?) worn by the frontman of The People Now. The music wasn't half bad- but the shirt was the primary focus, although he didn't bat an eye when the comedian MC poked fun of it, which was probably due to the fact that he recently moved here from Romania after exchanging music with the band over the internets! Amazing!
Murder Dice and the Rodeo's set was a soulful respite from the inlux of death metal that dominated the first portion of the evening. Their incredibly charismatic frontman (who can also be found most nights posted up at the door checking ID's at the Redwood) was shades of Marvin Gaye meets Michael Franti meets Sage Francis (though still a bit unpolished) and was backed by a rag tag group of jam bandy folks including a wife beater wearing bass player with quite the curly mop top. They had the greatest crowd response of the night by far, unless you count the sparsly populated mosh pit at the end elicited by Iceage Cobra's set.
After Murder Dice, everything seemed to run together between whiskey and beer although I do remember a Fugazi-ish punk band that played for way too long and were so loud Eli and I had to plug our ears for the duration of the set for fear of Tinnitus. When last years runner-up Iceage Cobra did finally take the stage the crowd had thinned but the boys didn't let that damper their energy. They stepped up to the challenge- thrashing around onstage, an electric mess of hair, visible tonsils and major, major ripping. It was enough to give them the win this year- with Murder Dice coming in a close second.
It was refreshing to see a local business giant so invested in it's employees and the Seattle music scene- not only did they donate 5,000 to the Vera Project, but the whole chain closed down for the night so that employees could attend the battle. It's nice to know that, although so many Seattleites had to go without gourmet delivery pizza last night, it was for a great cause.