Wednesday, Feb. 23
Why is it that every time there's a chance the weather might get a little>"/>
Motopony High Dive Wednesday, Feb. 23
Wednesday, Feb. 23
Why is it that every time there's a chance the weather might get a little weird, everyone in Seattle freaks out and pre-emptively cancels their plans? Those of us who looked out our windows and saw that the predicted four inches had not materialized by 10 p.m. and the roads were clear got to see a great show by Motopony last night at the High Dive. Those who stayed in: your loss.
But enough of that.
Sometimes a band materializes from the ether with fully-loaded pedal boards, fancy gear cases, and three people filming them on multiple cameras at a small venue like the High Dive. Such a band is Motopony. Helmed by fashion designer-turned-frontman Daniel Blue, the group appeared seemingly fully-fledged last year, though they had stealthily self-released their debut album in late 2009. With a freshly inked record deal and a recent trip to New York under their belts, the band seemed eager to reaffirm its local roots Wednesday night by putting on a high-energy show.
Sonically, Motopony could be described as Seattle's answer to Cold War Kids--there are heavy blues and roots influence and lots of percussion, all topped by Blue's not-inconsiderable soul-tinged pipes. But instead of a bass player, Motopony substitutes the massive keyboard empire of Buddy Ross, who sat on a swivel chair surrounded by Rhodes, Farfisa, and synths.
Each of Blue's songs tells a story, drawing listeners in to a dark world of alcoholism, devilry, and doomed love. He knows all too well the double-edged sword of the creative process and its relation to the darker side, evidenced in lyrics like "Euphoria, you come at such a price. Every time I get a hold of you, I know I roll the dice." With three guitars at times, Blue's vocals, and that wall of keys, things can get overwhelming, but the inherent tension this caused only added to the power of songs like the unstoppable "King of Diamonds." There's also plenty to entice visually--guitarist Brantley Cady sported an epic, hooded poncho, while Blue is in possession of a stare normally matched in intensity only by street preachers. Encouraging the crowd to "Get Down" to the song of the same name, Blue showed off his own impressive moves. But the song that got everyone dancing was the infectious "Seer," with its surging drumbeat and waves of keys.
The threat of snow put a bit of a damper on the crowd, though you could imagine the sweaty dance party that would have happened were it a packed house. But in a room covered in the stickers of no-name bands who never amounted to much, it was exciting to see a band you know is going to do something big.
BTW: Fittingly, The Stones' "Gimme Shelter" played as the band set up.