Monday, October 22, 2012

hear the footsteps, voices

Frightened Rabbit
Triple Door, Seattle
Oct 15/12

It's hard to believe that a week ago today, I was at the Fun House in Seattle, gathering with my fellow Communiqu3ters, comparing record store finds and preparing to head downtown to see Frightened Rabbit. It seems both mere moments ago, and buried in a distant time and place.

It was our last full day of Communiqu3 and it had been filled with wondrous sights - the gum wall at Pike's Market, the blue trees of downtown, the rows upon rows of meticulously labelled CDs and vinyl at Easy Street Records.  And we still had an evening featuring the musical stylings of Frightened Rabbit ahead of us.

We were lucky to get to the venue, actually.  We had been having an awful time all weekend, trying to get cabs in Seattle, and this time was no exception.  Except that this time we had much more at stake.  After pacing nervously for an hour, we eventually called a different cab company, whose driver barely managed to evade a spectacular collision, as he skidded down a wet hill, brakes screeching, veering at the last second around a stopped car at the bottom.  

But we did arrive, a bit wobbly but unscathed, albeit near the end of the opening set - a psychedelic shoegazey band from Philadelphia called Arc In Round.  I wish I had more time to listen to them properly, because I liked what I did hear, but of course we were busy settling into our seats and ordering dinner.

Yes, dinner.  Didn't I mention that the venue was a dinner theatre?  Of course all the performers made all the obligatory try the veal jokes, but The Triple Door really is a gorgeous venue, and from our 5th row table, we had a completely unencumbered view of the stage. A completely unencumbered view of Scott Hutchison's sweaty little face, as he belted out tortured lyrics, and of Grant (also Hutchison) as he attacked the drum kit. 

It did feel a bit odd to be so comfortable during such a high calibre show, especially since we rushed to clear our plates as the band took to the stage.  Because eating dinner while Frightened Rabbit were playing, well that would have been just too weird.  It was a rock show, damn it!

I personally didn't have any problem staying seated during the concert.  I am an exceptionally good chair-dancer and I have done more than my fair share of standing at concerts, usually behind a gaggle of eight-foot bros. So I was just happy to be where I was.  One of the Communiqu3ters desperately wanted to stand up and dance, but was compelled to move over to the side of the theatre when the guy behind her asked her (very nicely) to sit down.  The crowd at the Triple Door watching Frightened Rabbit was probably one of the most polite audiences I have ever encountered.  

Frightened Rabbit played their hearts out, bantered charmingly in their delightful Scottish brogues, and made me want to follow them around the country, from show to show.

I don't recall the set list, after the passage of a week, but the band did play a lot of crowd pleasers from their back catalogue, including a deep dive into my favourite album, Winter of Mixed Drinks.  And I am happy to announce that one particularly adept concert goer, who just happens to be one of the Communiqu3ters, scored the set list from the sound guy.  He kindly bequeathed it to our resident dancer, which helped to alleviate her disappointment that they did not play Keep Yourself Warm.

Great show, great venue, great seats, great company.  Great night.


Sean Wraight said...

It really was a rather surreal experience to partake in a meal and enjoy a top notch musical performance like that. The band certainly gave it their all though. And honestly I did feel a tad guilty as they sweated through their set as I watched comfortably from my cushy seat. Next time they need to let the dancers dance though... That's what rock n'roll is all about.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It really was a strange combination of dining and concert-going, Sean. One felt removed from the experience by a slight degree, but the comfort and the ability to see the stage made up for it. But yes, you would think that the tiered tables would allow for more dancing.

Anonymous said...

Scottish brogues??? I missed that. It's a drawing point for me and BAP so I understand.

Snowing still? Feels like summer here.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh yes, BAP loves her Scots! Well, who doesn't, really?
It's stopped snowing but there is still a good six inches on the ground, ReBelle. I'm thinking this would be an excellent time for me to leave town.