Heather and I got free tickets to the Sasquatch Kick-off show at the Showbox on Sunday, 2-6-11. We got to see the Thermals, Das Racist, and Mad Rad and a short Sasquatch promo that listed the bands playing at Sasquatch at the end of May. All 3 bands are playing Sasquatch, and so are a pile of other bands like Foo Fighters and Reggie Watts. Man I hope I can figure out a way to see it for free, because there's no way I can afford >$200 for tickets to all 4 days.
I've seen the Thermals a couple of times at Bumbershoot and I saw Mad Rad at the Capitol Hill Block Party last Summer, so I new I was going to enjoy this show.
Mad Rad kicked it off with their infectious obnoxious hip hop. They're all about partying and having a good time. They played with a dude on the drum kit, a dude scratching the turn-tables, a woman playing the cello (unusual for a hip hop band, but I loved it) and 3 guys out front rapping. One interesting problem I have is that the more I like the show the less I record of it - I hate having to stand still, I'd rather bounce around and make noise. Even when I do record some of the show I end up not being able to hold still all that much, so the video ends up a little hard to watch, like this:
That's Mad Rad doing "Life on Party Mountain" which is about Capitol Hill - these are local boys for sure! I enjoy that song, and ended up in the middle of the mosh pit which adds an additional degree of difficulty to the video recording as people bounce off of you. Nice problem to have, from my point of view, so I'm not complaining, just explaining why the video is a little jumpy.
One interesting bit is that I showed up in the Seattle Weekly slide show for the Sasquatch Kick-off show. If you follow the link and look carefully you can see me standing a little to the right of center holding up my flip video recorder and taping the show. That could be the video I posted here (I filmed 3 songs, so it could be a different one).
Between acts Todd Bary came out and told some jokes, keeping us amused. He seemed surprised at how well it went, hard to say if that was his schtick or he really just expected to get boos from a hip hop/punk show crowd.
After a short comic break Das Racist came out and did their set.
Interesting band, for much of their material racism isn't the subtext, it's the text. They recited their ethnic backgrounds as they came out, all kinds of different stuff combined, it went by too fast for me to catch, and they gave the crowd a bit of ribbing for being so white. Their rapping was fun and the hispanic looking dude in particular had a good flow. They also played with our (racial) expectations in interesting ways, but mostly we were having too much fun moshing for it to sink in.
After Das Racist and another brief appearance from Todd Barry they ran the Sasquatch promotional video announcing a huge list of bands and the crowd cheered for it's favorites (Decemberists, Foo Fighters, Reggie Watts, and on and on; I know I'm repeating myself, but I'd love to see Foo Fighters and Reggie Watts, not to mention 10 or 20 other bands, at least!).
Finally the Thermals came out and played a kick-ass set of high energy punkish rock and roll. The Thermals are an almost local (from Portland) power trio setup with a dude playing guitar and singing, a woman playing bass and singing some backup vocals, and a dude on drums. I enjoy the energy and the crowd was totally into it, moshing and thrashing all over. My first good mosh pit of 2011, lets hope for more like it!
After a short break to catch our breath the Thermals brought Das Racist and Mad Rad and another dude up and played for them while they took turns rapping. I gave up on filming by then, but I did get a picture.
The Latino looking dude from Das Racist rapped, then one of the guys from Mad Rad, and finally a different dude who hadn't performed earlier finished it off. The dude in the #18 jersey in the picture was the last rapper - I don't know who he is, but he had excellent rapping skills and finished the night off with some excellent imrpovised raps and sent us off happy. Excellent show, and man did it work: I really really want to go to Sasquatch Fest now. I better start sucking up to the Programming Committe at the Vera so I can get a free slot at Sasquatch in exchange for tabling at the show. Oh well, if that doesn't work out I'll just have to stay in Seattle for the Folk Life Festival, things could be worse.