I really enjoy shows at the Funhouse. Even though it usually takes a while to get a drink- no matter who's behind the bar- when it finally arrives, it's nice and stiff. Fortunately, I gave myself enough time to get a drink before watching our REVERBfest booker and all-around nice guy Kwab Copeland (on drums and keyboard) and his partner Konny Kindlund (guitar and vocals) in a prototype performance of Kindlund's quirky pop songs. The project doesn't even have a name yet, but if the first performance is any indicator, Seattle will probably appreciate them; the crowd seemed pretty enthusiastic, even doling out some appreciative whooping for encouragement.
Bone Cave Ballet, a Seattle five-piece with tremulous, wailing Sleater Kinney-esque vocals, pounding drums, and a metal sensibility (but metal at a slower tempo, as if it were trying to run, or shred, underwater) seemed to have a bevy of adoring fans, even if I was feeling meh about the whole thing. Out of everyone, they had the biggest audience for their set, and even though the band urged everyone to stay for Your 33 Black Angels, who hail from New York City, not everyone did, which was a shame. Y33BA first came through on tour for Lonely Street, an album that flew under the radar somewhat despite a very hearty endorsement from Rolling Stone critic David Fricke; now they've got a new record, Tales of My Pop Rock Love Life, that comes out September 30.But seeing the band live was a different experience, far removed from listening to their recorded stuff, and I suspect that any band playing the Funhouse is gonna sound louder and prouder than normal. While Y33BA is chiefly a rock band, they've got some poppy, bouncy numbers and some folksy ones as well-- like "Sue" and "Town and Country," respectively-- but everything sounded like rawk over the Funhouse speakers: the riffs were heavy and loud, the drums crashed thunderously, and I could barely understand Josh's vocals. At first, I didn't realize when the band started playing "Sue," because it sounded so different than its recorded incarnation.
As for the remaining crowd, well, they were a little shy at first. One dude kicked things off by doing a sort of fancy two-step walk around the sizable gap between the crowd and the stage- you know, that gap audiences make when they don't want to seem overenthusiastic, or simply don't want to blow out their eardrums by standing too close to the Funhouse's huge speakers. The two-step guy really wanted me to dance with him, but because I wore some ill-fitting heels last night (heels: they're made to cripple us. Never again!), I could barely walk, and could only bounce back and forth in place...kinda like Josh, the singer, who turned his ankle playing basketball outside and had to use that skull shaker pictured above as a walking stick. Unfortunately, I had to take off a little early, but I'll definitely see them again the next time they come through. And I'll make sure not to wear heels next time...if I ever do again.