Thursday, July 7
Billing a performance as a last show is always a bit dubious. Like those arena-rock farewell>"/>
The Crocodile Thursday, July 7
Thursday, July 7
Billing a performance as a last show is always a bit dubious. Like those arena-rock farewell tours that are merely a goodbye until the members require a new residence in the south of France, it seems unlikely that Carrie Akre's (pronounced ock-ree) show last night at the Crocodile will be the last we see of her in this town. It may have been her final show before moving to Minneapolis for a job, but with a rock pedigree as rich as hers, it'd be surprising to never see her onstage in the Jet City again.
The powerful-voiced rocker, who fronted popular hard-rock bands like Hammerbox and Goodness, was joined last night by a dozen or so musicians, in various lineups, as she said goodbye to a city whose music scene she had been a part of for over two decades. "Don't make me cry, fuckers," Akre said, as she began her set with a few acoustic songs from her trio of solo records.
Her eyes didn't stay dry for long, however, as an impromptu rendition of Andrew Gold's "Thank You for Being a Friend" made her teary, the first of many emotional moments. Throughout the night, a cadre of Akre's various collaborators came onstage to play a song or two, most of them pausing to recount a funny story and to wish her well. Guitarist Amy Stolzenbach of Hell's Belles, who played on Akre's solo records, gave the singer grief for "going out Akre style," which meant no rehearsal. "I hate practice," Akre responded with a smile, her sense of humor coming through as loudly as her talents.
The show had an informal, unrehearsed vibe, which felt like the right atmosphere for the musical going-away party, which packed the Crocodile with old friends and longtime fans alike. And with so many seasoned rock vets appearing, spontaneity and experience trumped any minor missteps that may have occurred thanks to being underrehearsed. Other musicians who joined Akre during the night included her brother Eric Akre, Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, and Jared Clifton of Radio Nationals.
Though her grunge-era band Hammerbox didn't play (guitarist Harris Thurmond lives in Austin), Akre concluded the show with a short but thrashing set from her follow-up act, Goodness, which showed off her prowess as a frontwoman. She belted out their tunes while owning the entire stage, tugging at her clothes, swinging the microphone by its cable, and letting the music consume her. "I forgot what an ass-kicker Goodness was," she said, a few songs into their mini-set. And they were.
The reunion was a fitting finale, a reminder of how much Akre has contributed to the Seattle music scene over the years, having inspired and played alongside a slew of musicians, all of whom seemed to have been majorly impacted by her presence. Though she's not likely to be gone forever, her relocation certainly leaves a major void where her big voice and even bigger stage presence used to be. Sadly, there are one fewer legendary rock chicks in this town this morning. Look out Minneapolis, here she comes.
Just duet: Missing from the set was "Hungover Together," a charming duet about waking up and not remembering exactly what happened last night, which Akre sings on the first EP from Best Kissers in the World, a great unsung power-pop band.
BTW: Openers Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs played a confident set of meat-and-potatoes rock with big vocals and a skilled band, particularly guitarist Justin Davis, whose searing leads were almost as awesome as the guitar faces he made while playing them.