Sunday, August 19, 2007

Last night at the Sunset

I headed to Ballard to catch what is, in my opinion, Seattle's best band, the Young Sportsmen. Four guys who play rock that's so tight, so powerful, so melodic and so good, that it makes me quiver with delight.

Last night was their CD release party for their CD, Death to Palaces. I met Sean and his friend Keith down at the Lock & Keel before heading to the Sunset. Unfortunately those guys had nipples on their beers and by the time they finished, the YS had already started their set.

Anyway, the Sunset was packed. Someone of my average stature, or lack thereof, really couldn't see anything. So, using a technique that you can pretty much only do at the Sunset, Sean, Keith and I "headed for the bathroom" and made our way to the front of the room. The benefit of doing that is that the bathrooms are right next to the stage and as we left them, we found ourselves smack dab in the front row.

I ended up standing stage right, right in front of the speaker stack. Thank goodness for earplugs! As usual, the club sounded great. I had a great view of everyone.

Richard on bass had a pretty natural-burst Fender P into an Ampeg 4x10. He plays with a pick and is so tasty. I told him once that if I could play with a pick well, I'd like to play like him.

Wesley was in the middle and rocked the black t-shirt and jeans. He has such a friendly disposition both on and off stage. He's humble and he tears sh*t up.

On the "tubs", as the YS call the drums, was Jeff. He was decked in a maroon short-sleeve shirt and a matching maroon tie. Quite insane, if you ask me, since it was probably 75-80 degrees in the Sunset. Plus, Jeff beats the hell out of his drums. His stage presence and watchability is off the charts. He's an entertaining drummer.

Finally, right in front of me was Ryan, who played lead guitar. He's a small dude and plays a mean guitar. He has this totally unaffected look when he's playing a solo. Most guys squint their eyes, or purse their lips or something. Not Ryan. He looks like he's watching the news or something. Pretty funny.

Anyway, I wish I could tell the names of the songs, but I don't know them well enough. All I know is that they are just super solid. Tight. Professional. Very energetic, and the people ate them up. Kudos to them for a very successful CD release party and a killer show.

After the YS was the Root Beer Barrels. If you haven't seen these guys and gal, you need to see them. Fronted by Dick Rosette, the former 107.7 The End DJ, as well as Twink the Wonder Kid's former front man, and his former on-air sidekick, Sarah, they blew the lid off the Sunset.

Through the course of their set, I saw the following things, in no particular order:
  • bubbles
  • pitch pipe/harmonica solo
  • bare chest
  • stage diving
  • CDs thrown into the crowd
  • a belt buckle reader board
  • a raccoon hat
  • an air horn
  • synchronized kicks
  • a game of pattycake
  • a mini-mosh pit on stage
  • people laying down on stage
Needless to say, it was a wild set, as well as their CD release party. Ric Cesar (Dick's alter-ego) is the only guy in Seattle that can get away with wearing a black windbreaker zipped up to his chin on stage. He must've been quite warm. Sarah had her huge Aretha-style 'fro happening and she really owned the stage. They're the type of band you really have to see live in order to get the full picture.

Anyway, it was a great night for rock and, hopefully, we'll be hooking up with the YS for a show of our own soon.