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A Great Day In Ballard: I had already been enjoying an incredible, marathon of a day of tall beers, smooth whiskey, and hot tamales--a kind gentleman by the name of Kenny Stocker delivered 300 of them (from White Center's La Poblanita!!) to the VIP area -- when I came across the best sight of the evening. Walking back from Hilliards toward The Tractor, we saw a group of playful individuals ahead of us. And upon closer inspection of their backsides, we recognized them to the Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler, THEESatisfaction's Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, and Erik Blood, the man who has produced albums for both artists, and was about to perform his own set at The Sunset.
We couldn't let the moment -- such a high concentration of local talent among an already heavy concentration of local talent -- go without documentation. We caught up with the grinning crew, and they were more than happy to pose for few awkward family pictures.
Grins, local talent, tamales and whiskey is what Reverb Fest is all about. Thank you to everyone -- the band and fans and myriad people behind the scenes -- who made the festival such a success last night. By all accounts, it was one of the best years in the festival's history.
Speaking of accounts, here are a few notes on things I saw:
The Country Lips: This is the country-party band of 2012. Everywhere I go they turn up. I randomly DJ a friends wedding, and there they are as the musical guests. My brother puts out a record, and they top the bill of his album release. I wander back into the Tractor at Reverb, and there they are whipping the crowd into a frenzy. They're ones to watch, folks.
Ticktockman: They are as fierce on stage as they are on record. The 2 Bit was a wash of noise during their punishing set of soaring, arena-ready vocals and calculated riffs. Well done, dudes.
The Foghorns: Still on my favorite bands making music in Seattle, drone-country (right?), The Fognorns brought it at their venue-opening set at the Tractor. At one point I was drinking whiskey with the guys in VIP and I said: "Aren't you supposed to be on stage right now?" Their response? "Eh, we've got another four minutes."
Full Toilet: Here'a secret at Reverb Fest: No band plays the fest two years in a row, but Kurt Bloch plays it every year, just with a different band. His set with The Basements used to be my favorite, but after the Full Toilet, punk-rock experience, I have a new #1 Kurt Bloch set. Looking forward to what the man has in store for 2013.
Shannon Stephens: Shannon did an interview a while back on Seattle Sound, the radio show that Josh Kerns and I co-host on KIRO Radio. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but one thing lead to another, and I played the unsalted peanut-shaker with Stephens on the air that day as she ran through "Care of You." Last night she invited me onstage at Conor Byrne to reprise my performance. So, you know, obviously it was one of the best sets of the night! Thanks, Shannon.
And thanks again to everyone who played, paid, drank, and volunteered. We'll see you again in 2013. Happy Rocktober!!!