jealoussound-blair.jpg
Dave Lake
The Jealous Sound

Saturday, Feb. 25

El Corazon Lounge

Patience is a virtue. It took nearly a decade for The Jealous Sound to

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9 Reasons You Should Be Jealous I Saw The Jealous Sound Saturday Night and You Didn't

jealoussound-blair.jpg
Dave Lake
The Jealous Sound

Saturday, Feb. 25

El Corazon Lounge

Patience is a virtue. It took nearly a decade for The Jealous Sound to release the follow-up to their acclaimed 2003 debut, but after being gone for so many years, their return as headliners felt even sweeter. Singer-guitarist Blair Shehan seemed to be enjoying every minute of it. "What is it, Saturday night in Seattle?" he asked, as the band began their hour-long set. "I swear there's nowhere I'd rather be."

Old-school emo never sounded better. The Jealous Sound are one of the few bands who do that Braid/Jawbox/Jimmy Eat World thing oh-so-well, which isn't to say that they sound like 1998 per se, more that they produce a combustible mix of punk rock and indie rock that balances melody with raging choruses, power chords with intricate guitar lines. There aren't a lot of bands that play this style anymore, and even fewer who do it as well as these guys.

The records are good but live is better. The band's debut, 2003's Kill Them With Kindness, was named one of SPIN's favorite records of that year, and their recent follow-up, A Gentle Reminder, has been garnering equally favorable reviews. But as good as their records are, their brand of guitar-heavy indie rock is best experienced live, where you can benefit from the full range of emotions, particularly in a tiny, crowded, loud room.

Indie rock pedigree. The Jealous Sound features former and current members of Knapsack, The Velvet Teen, The New Trust and Benton Falls -- and that's a pretty good CV.

Dirty looks. Because the stage in the lounge is located right next to the club's front door, bands can see people come and go while they're playing their set. This means if you decide to leave in the middle of "Anxious Arms," a band member can glare at you--or maybe smile--as you head for the door.

Bleed through. There aren't too many venues in town that offer two shows at the same time on the same night, but part of the fun of the El Corazon lounge is that you can hear the bands in the main room when bands in the bar take a break. Saturday night's main room lineup featured five death metal bands, whose guttural growls and furious guitar riffs bled into the lounge, giving the between-song breaks some interesting ambiance. "Have you guys been next door?" Shehan asked. "It's fucking mayhem. In the best way."

Good support bands. Showgoers who arrived early were treated to some melodic power pop and hook-heavy indie rock from Explone and Man Without Wax.

Weird encores. Bands that play in the El Corazon lounge don't have the benefit of using the club's backstage area, which means there's no place for musicians to hide out during an encore, often making for a slightly awkward end of set. Even if many bands think the concept of an encore is silly, crowds expect it, and The Jealous Sound struggled with what to do for theirs. They eventually settled on having singer-guitarist Blair Shehan remain on stage to play a solo number while the rest of the band headed outside for a one-song breather. But after the band's final song, and amidst cheers from the crowd for an encore, Shehan had to explain that the last two songs had been actually been the encore and that the show was now over.

Bartender-approved. I asked the bartender wearing the Snapcase hoodie how many nights a week he actually enjoys the bands that play in the lounge. "About one out of every 75 shows," he told me with a smile. "But these guys are one of my favorite bands." Amen, though too bad it'll be another 74 nights before he can say that again.

 
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