My First Venture To The Showbox

29 Sep

Two days ago, I found out that one of my new favorite bands, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head had joined the Perez Hilton tour with Ladyhawke and Semi-Precious Weapons, and I was so freaking excited. As much of a twat Perez Hilton is, he puts together a rad tour. Yes, I just said rad.

Rad is common slang of the 80s, and last night made me feel like I’d jumped back into the 80s, with the tweaky intros Perez put together and the synth-heavy music all night.

Well, Semi-Precious Weapons weren’t synth-heavy, but you can see how I felt like I was in the 80s.

I hadn’t heard much of them before last night, and I was pleasantly surprised how much fun I had. They were great openers, bringing the room’s energy up to the highest degree at multiple points, especially during lead singer Justin Tranter’s banter between songs. He sweared profusely, and at one point, he shouted “cunt!” multiple times, because he said he “couldn’t give up saying it.” And of course when he changed his clothes on stage. From one pair of tights and crazy heels to another pair of tights and crazy tights. As my friend Laura said, his junk was everywhere in the tights. It was quite an eyeful. But the music wasn’t bad. It was like heavy 80s glam rock with hints of Chris Crocker. My favorite track was “Magnetic Baby,” but that’s all I can remember really right now. The guitarist was pretty wicked, and the bassist was ridiculously spazmatic. I didn’t know any of the music beforehand, and most of the people there weren’t there to see them, so it wasn’t nearly as energetic had the crowd been full of SPW fans. It was a good way to get the show going though, as a majority of the people at the show were there to see Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.

They are Seattleites, after all.

And they were technically the reason I drove down to Seattle last night not knowing if there would be tickets. Ida Maria cancelled last week, and they filled in for the remainder of the tour. And I didn’t want to buy tickets for one artist that I wanted to see. But TWO bands that I really wanted to see? That’s worth buying tickets and paying for fucking Seattle parking. I swear to god, I’m never driving when I live in Seattle.

But I will say right now, a friend of mine told me after Bumbershoot that NPSH was way better in smaller venues and that they sucked at Bumbershoot. Now, I don’t agree with the latter statement, but I will verify the first statement. They are SO much better in small clubs. But then again, most bands are. Intimate stages always make everything better. There was this guy standing behind us – I’ll call him Plaid Guy – but he was hilarious. When NPSH were setting up their instruments, he kept shouting at Luke, “Shaun! Shaun!” I tapped him and was like, “I’m pretty sure that’s Luke.” Then he felt all stupid and said, “that’s why he’s not listening to us!” Apparently, Plaid Guy REALLY wanted them to play Bedroom Costume, which wasn’t on the setlist that had already been taped to the floor. So when Claire came out to set up her synth, Plaid Guy yelled, “put a synth here!” And when Claire put her synth right in front of us, he thanked her profusely and was all “I love you!” And almost demanded they play Bedroom Costume. And lo and behold, the third song in, Shaun prefaces the song with, “we’re gonna play this one for those guys over there.” And Plaid Guy went apeshit crazy.

They’re all grainy because I had to use macro close-up for my Coolpix because I didn’t get a pass to bring in my nice camera. Oh well. It was great just the same.

But the best part was during Beard Lust, Shaun said something like “are you guys ready to dance? This guy looks ready!” And they asked people to jump up on stage for a dance off. Or just a big fat dance party. I didn’t feel like tripping over things, and my feet were slightly achey, plus, this way I could get pictures of the dance party.

Yeah, it was pretty sweet.

My mom thought it was weird that I’d seen Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head twice in one month. Sure, Bumbershoot was like 3 weeks ago, but I don’t really care. It was totally worth it, and mom hasn’t been to a show in like…at least ten years. Except the stupid concerts I went to when I was 13, and when she and Dad drove to the Gorge to see the Eagles. Twice. So she has no room to talk. She’s seen the Eagles multiple times, and those concerts cost like a shit ton.

After they finished “Iceage Babeland,” I was fucking BEAT. My feet hurt, I was hungry, I was thirsty. I would have been satisfied going home right then with what we’d already seen, but WAIT! We had yet to see Ladyhawke, the headliner to Perez’s synthtastic tour.

Her setlist. Plaid Guy grabbed the setlist in front of us too quickly for me to grab it. Oh well. She was still awesome, and she had an adorable guitarist with the strongest prescription glasses I’ve ever seen. I swear to god. Honestly, the crowd was quite a bit smaller for Ladyhawke, mostly because a lot of the NPSH fans had to leave because they had homeroom in the morning. It was an all ages show, after all. The beginning of Ladyhawke’s set was strikingly different than the two previous acts, because people were more just listening to the music and grooving to Ladyhawke’s smooth beats rather dancing their ass off. It was a great vibe, even though I knew people were tired. The songs sounded awesome, and Ladyhawke’s crazy eyes helped. She does make some crazy eyes. Nobody really danced their ass off until she played her last two songs, “Paris is Burning” and “My Delirium.” Those were fun songs.

She’s just so cool.

After the show was over, Laura and I were going to try and get a picture with some of NPSH, but we were tired, and I was afraid that I’d fangirl all over them and be a freak. I feel like I need to meet a band that I like, but am not crazy about first to warm up to meeting actual artists. I really need to get over that if I’m going to a music journalist. Seriously, I can’t get all fangirl-y every time I meet a band, and it’s unprofessional to be like, “can I have your autograph?” or “can I get a picture with you?”

Sheesh. I’m a dork.

BUT I just found the most amazing pictures of NPSH on Flickr. SO JEALOUS of people who get press passes. Literally, I have barely any control over what kind of photos I take with the coolpix.

DUDE. Luke + Shaun = ❤

Seriously. I love them.

I’m done now.

❤ Abby


3 Responses to “My First Venture To The Showbox”

  1. Amber 09/30/2009 at 12:07 am #

    The downside of the photo pass, as Jenn explained to me shortly after I got my gig with Rockscope, is that it is VERY DIFFICULT after that to go to a show where you don’t have one and accept that you can’t bring your camera and have access to the front row, etc! I can attest to this–I’ve tried to sneak my very expensive camera into two venues now and failed, just because I can’t accept it well, LOL

  2. abbigshmail 09/30/2009 at 12:16 am #

    Good point. I think one girl tried to sneak hers in and got ratted out by one of the Showbox dudes. He pointed at her during the show from across the stage and everything. She looked like she was about to cry.

  3. adrian 09/30/2009 at 4:02 am #

    “mostly because a lot of the NPSH fans had to leave because they had homeroom in the morning.”


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