Oxford Collapse's frontman Michael Pace's Tom Selleck-stash is so awesome, it could drive one to distraction. (Drummer Dan Fetherston has a pretty sweet hairy lip himself.) The Brooklyn-based band started their set with some hard-driving tunes but finished it off with the more sing-songy, summer-appropriate stuff for the city summer left behind. Actually preferred the more rockin' repertoire and the song they supposedly wrote that afternoon-- a dedication to the cop who'd pulled the band over in Montana hours before. Oxford gave the requisite shout out to Sub Pop and their local label cred before clearing the stage for Scotland-based headliner.
The guys in Frightened Rabbit, on their first coast-to-coast U.S. tour, seemed genuinely surprised by the size and support of the crowd. Apparently it had been a rough show in Denver a few nights before. Said singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison, "you just never know." They played almost entirely from the newer album: Midnight Organ Fight, which, though fun to see live, is nowhere near as good as their first release: Sing the Greys. Hutchison played a half-assed version of "Behave" from the old album early on, but made up for it later by ending the show with "The Greys" and "Square 9," before coming back with "Go Go Girls" as the encore-- a song that should whip any crowd into a body-slamming frenzy. But this is Seattle. There were smiles of appreciation, toe taps, and emphatic head nodding. If the drummer looked like he was going to pass out, he probably was. A friend of the band, in town from Edinburgh, slipped him some ecstasy before the show. At one point he appeared to mini-puke behind the drum kit. "I'm going to get in trouble," said their buddy. "but we're on holiday!"