We got 4 tickets to day 2 the Presidents of the USA Fest, the Saturday night show which was all ages. The original plan was for me to take the kids but Carina ended up canceling at the last minute so Greg ended up agreeing to go. I've known Greg since we were in high school more than 3 decades ago and while we've seen a few shows together it has been a lot of years since the last one. I remember Greg providing tickets to a memorable Eric Clapton show where I got to hear the missing verse of Badge, and seeing the Kinks and other interesting bands with him.
It's been a while so I wondered how he'd hold up. We stopped by Dicks for milk shakes, burgers and fries on the way to pick up Greg, then headed down to the Showbox. We parked for free a few blocks away on Third and walked through the cold air to the Showbox. I wore a knitted cap Heather made for me and my wool jacket, it was cool but I didn't want to have to deal with all the layers at the show; I also made sure to wear a shirt with a pocket to hold the field recorder. I ended up checking my coat (pockets crammed full of hats and gloves) which made things easier.
First up was the Young Evils with Troy Nelson and his girlfriend Mackenzie Mercer.
They were a bit light and pop-rockish, but they had talent and charisma. This short bit catches them sounding fun with a good pop vibe:
This song - "The Place I Lost My Mind" - was quite effective, flickr truncates this at 90 seconds:
Here they are in a bit more of a rocking vein:
Good opening act, the audience enjoyed it but was somewhat distracted.
Next up was Jonathon Coulton, a solo singer acoustic guitar player.
He knew what he was doing. Some songs had a definite novelty feel - the Ikea bit was amusing - but some also had some bite. The one song about being down in the basement where the shop vacuum drowns out when you call me and when you cry was effective. Greg, Heather and Ben all gave this guy a thumbs up: good acoustic guitar work, very modern observations and sensibilities wrapped up in a classic nimble guitar picking pop/folk idiom, fun stuff.
Finally the Presidents took the stage.
Chris Bellew was excited, hopping around and going a mile a minute running his mouth like he usually does. The crowd was as livedly as I care to see it, Ben and I had to back off 8 or 10 feet, the moshing was just too intense for us.
An energetic enthusiastic crowd, the Presidents blasting all of those familiar tunes, the frenzied bouncing crowd each and every time the Presidents hit a peak or a groove - the break in Little Dune Buggy (check out the audience bouncing 25 seconds in, crazy Presidents lyrics working so well "spider's bad ass fat old abdomen stuck in the bucket seat" - classic, they had us bouncing all over, made it hard to record.
Some Postman ruled, as the son of a postman I'm never sure what to make of this song, but it rocks out with a fun groove:
Lump didn't limp along at sub-sonic speed so I only got the tail end:
Naked and Famous was off the scale "30 foot smurfs" - yes, everybody does want to be naked and famous, and 30 foot smurfs - there's not much else to say:
Old Man On the Back Porch - they're getting old, and so am I, that old man is me for sure:
Kitty ruled, check out the audience sing along:
My camera ran out of room so we just rocked out to the rest of the show, with classic versions of We're Not Going to Make It (the whole crowd chanting No! NO! NO! NO!...), Kick Out The Jams (We Done Kicked Them OUT!), and ending with Video Killed the Radio Star at the end of the encore leaving a mussed up, hot and happy crowd to stream out of the Showbox into the cold Seattle night.