by Christian Hamilton | June 15, 2015 9:45 am
In a warehouse off of 99 in South Seattle. The last place anyone would think a music festival would ever take place, yet this is where The Big BLDG Bash took place, and it was absolutely the perfect setting for such a festival. For 20 dollars you could see the very best the Northwest has to offer. Over 50 bands played. To decide who were the standouts, is not an easy task. This is the one time where you wished you had a double just so you could give every band the proper respect they deserve. Their was pretty much every genre of music one could think of. This is my list of the standout bands I saw at the festival.
The band that defies all logic. At first glance you may assume this will be some easy listening indie music with some synth. Once this band starts to play, they will literally melt your mind with how heavy and amazing they sound. They play with an fierce attitude. Every member of the band seems to get immersed in their instrument and plays with a chaotic beauty. The lead singer, Eleazer Tolentino, sings with heavy reverb layered on his voice, and can wail with some of the best singers in the northwest. Combined with the drummer, Ray McCoy, who just destroyed his drum set with such ease. The bass player/synth player, Josh McCormick, added the otherworldly sounds which fused perfectly with the rest of the band. Their best song is “Separator.” With a heavy tribal style drums and a synth which carries the melody, embellishes the singer perfectly in this song. Their performance was masterful. This is a band that must be heard.
This is the band which seems to get better and better. Even when you think this band cannot perform better, they come out, and play one of their best shows. At 2AM, anyone who missed their set, they missed one of the best bands of the evening. Alexander Barr is the lead singer and guitar player. As a guitar player, Alexander Barr seems to have mastered the use of tonality and delay to perfection, which creates an exquisite landscape of sound. As a singer, he combines a rawness which is subtly eerie yet pleasant vocal style. Then out of nowhere he can scream with a passionate wail which makes you feel every emotion in his lyrics. The drummer, Kendra Cox, plays with an uncontrollable chaos which adds the attitude to this band. The bass player, John O’conner, carries the melodies of most of the songs with a heavy distorted bass and thunderous boom with every note played. Combine all this talent with a performance under the unique art decor, you have the perfect band. This band needs to be heard, they will literally transform you mind with their music. Their music is an experience but their live performance is a revival.
The band which you can just slowly nod your head in sync with every one of their songs. Every one of their songs have a chorus which will stay with you for weeks, even months after you hear their music. Their best song was “Seventies” with a catchy chorus, combined with heavy fuzz bass, and eerie vocals added the perfect element to a dreamy indie pop song. The build up from the bridge of this song to the outro, is one of the best parts of the song. This band is led by Daniel Lyon who brings just the right mix of serene and emotional angst to the vocals. Surrounded by a breathtaking light display, their whole performance was an ethereal experience. Their new album “Heavy Fog” is a must for any psychedelic indie dream pop.
Crazy Eyes is the band that not only makes addictive music but also performs with theatrics which very few bands ever consider. With a very distinct piano which almost defines the band perfectly. The band is unique, heavy tones within every note, and performed with a flare which will leave a lasting impression on anybody who watches them live. They are led by Kellen Grace, who takes control of the piano and vocals, with dramatic hooks and soul in both his piano play and vocals. Matt Leon, the guitar player, had a lady from the crowd come on the stage, which she then seemed to revive him with a volt which shook him to the core. They proceeded to play one of their best songs “Branch Ricky.” With an eccentric bass line, played by Adam Taylor, and perfectly timed drum rhythms by Warren Pease typified their show. They gave the best performance of the event. With a perfect mix of catchy, unique songs, and theatrics, which had the entire crowd wanting more. Their new album, Ring Ring Jingalong and Dark Heart Singalong, is a album which must be bought.
Spider Ferns played with a sensual yet hypnotic style which will make anyone forget about their daily struggles. Led by Kelly Fleek, who sings with such a hypnotic and beautiful tone, which is
soothing to the ear. With the musicianship of Alton Fleek, who goes back and forth with the guitar and bass. He added just the right amount of a jazz element to their performance. With lights and mystical art surrounding them, they performed on a ethereal stage. Their best song “My Direction” which opens with one of the most contagious bass line I have ever heard. With perfectly layered beats and guitar, the soundscape which is created, is a spectacle. Their new album, Soon Enough, is the perfect way to leave the daily grind behind.
Joseph Giant went on stage early yet were easily among the best of the early bands. They play with a raw rock sensibility with a fusion of country layered within their music. Lead singer, Joe Syverson, has a vocal quality which finds the perfect tone which emphasizes the music perfectly. The emotions he is able to pour into his vocals was astounding. This band did what they do best on stage and played music with no gimmicks, just great songs, with hooks in every chorus. Their best song was “First and The Last To Know.” This song shows the vocal capabilities of Joe Syverson and the emotion he is able to display with his lyrics. Hoping for a new album this year. For those country, rock fans, this is the band for you.
Prat Attack were one of the early bands to play, but they were also one the best band of the event. They are the classic indie band with one very distinct difference. They have a saxophone player, Nate Henry, who plays lead in most of the songs. This unique aspect combined with one of the best vocalist, Patrick Seick, in the state, really makes this band standout from the others. Patrick Seick, sings with a very controlled aggression fused with a retro feel on the notes he hits. He has a range very similar to a Brandon flowers, just more gritty. Their best song was “You will Fail.” This was a great showcase of the range Patrick Seick has with his vocals. The solo by the guitar player, Alex Harlow, was perfectly complemented by the saxophone player.
The Big BLDG Bash was an absolute success. It was not just a music festival, it was a showcase of some of the best local bands and artists in the Northwest. With its unassuming warehouse feel, it was the perfect venue for such a festival. You could walk down the halls and get lost in such a wondrous place. A walk into every area was the escape into the Northwest ethereal qualities defined by such amazing creativity leading the way for the future of this great area. The Big BLDG Bash, a music festival? A grandiose showcase of music and art? Or maybe it is the escape into the creativity, which we all need at times, of the great Northwest.
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