During her afternoon set at the Salmon Bay Eagles, Kaylee Cole, a blonde, couch-surfing pistol, informed her audience that it was at Reverb Fest 2009 that she decided she had to make Seattle home. (This is exactly why we don't tell tourists about the festival.) For any wandering artists who made their way to Ballard on Saturday, Seattle music put on its best, and would surely have been irresistible.
Laura Musselman Gettin' down to Don't Talk to the Cops at Seattle Weekly's Reverb Local Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Ballard.
I'm biased, of course. The Weekly puts on Reverb, and I'm predisposed to call this thing the finest gift to rock since 180-gram vinyl*. But I can say with a straight face that the uniquely celebratory atmosphere at Reverb 2011 was the strongest in the fest's five-year-run. There's no bigger all-local music festival in Seattle. And the fact that there are hundreds of local musicians--even those such as Damien Jurado and Brent Amaker, not on the bill this year -- performing at, and wandering around, a small cluster of venues and lubricating the conversation and shenanigans with a bounty of complimentary booze -- gives Reverb a jovial, familial vibe.It helped that the 70-plus bands on the bill were in top form, and joined paying customers in grinning ear-to-ear throughout the 12-hour event. Gold Leaves were divine, adding a layer of psyche to their vintage pop that puts Broken Bells to shame; Summer Babes brought their shimmering pop and all-white suits, making them the best-dressed fellas (and ladies) of the fest this side of Kurt Bloch and his pink suit; Mutiny Fires and the Cops slayed with some much-appreciated rock that would have made Jack Endino chuckle from his
Huge thanks to Kwab Copeland, the guy who books this thing every year; Max Genereaux, who keeps things classy and convinces his fellow bar owners that we won't plug up all the toilets; and, of course, to Christine Chilton, Debbie Porter, and Marisa Willis who make Reverb happen.