Are Band of Horses Arena-Bound?

And other notes on recent sets from 3 Inches of Blood, and Bill Frisell.

Click the photo for a slideshow of the concert. All photos by Renee McMahon. By Brian J. Barr

Band of Horses

The Showbox

July 2, 2007Better Than: Watching the Mariners lose

"This song's dedicated to whatever job Mike Hargrove quit today," said Band of Horses frontman and unabashed Mariners fan Ben Bridwell. "And to everyone in the audience who throws weed onstage during this song." Everyone at the Showbox knew exactly what song he was talking about. Then, they tore into the Mellencamp-influenced party anthem "Weed Party." With his baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and his now-mammoth beard bushing out underneath, Bridwell looked every part the Southern stoner-jock he is, just more so than the last time I saw him.

Gone are the nervous knee-bouncing and boyish banter that first endeared him to me and the band, back when they were simply Horses, who flubbed chords and knocked over microphone stands. While last night's show was nothing short of excellent, for me, it marked a huge turning point for my relationship with the band and their music. As I said to Aja this morning: "It feels weird to know that they are no longer our band anymore. They're everyone else's band."Read the full review of Band of Horses' set at The Showbox.

By T.J. Tranchell

3 Inches of Blood, Akimbo, Hell Promise, I Am the Thorn, Witchburn

June 29, 2007

El Corazon

Better Than: Trying to stay true to old-school metal by listening to the scratched copy of Judas Priest's British Steel that you stole from your dad in junior high.

Northwest metal is alive and well, and ready to kick your fucking ass. The proof came in the form of a face-melting show last night at El Corazon. 3 Inches of Blood headlined and brought out tunes from their new release, Fire Up the Blades. Along with them came a slew of local acts that very well could be the next big thing in metal.

The first act, Witchburn, reminded me of one thing: There are not enough women in metal. With vocals, lead guitar, and bass all provided by exceptionally talented (and, yes, exceptionally sexy) women, Witchburn are a band Seattle should be seeing more of. They did say this was their first show, so we can't exactly see any less of them. When the black-dreadlocked guitarist traded her ax for a violin for their final song, the idea of seeing what else this band is capable of became even more attractive.Read the full review of 3 Inches of Blood's set.

By Michael Alan Goldberg

Bill Frisell Quintet

June 28, 2007

Jazz Alley

Prior to last evening, the only time I'd seen Grammy Award–winning jazz guitarist extraordinaire (and longtime Seattle resident) Bill Frisell in the flesh was about 15 years ago, when he came through my native Philadelphia as part of Naked City—the notorious John Zorn–led spazz-jazz outfit. It was a show at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center, part of a jazz performance series, and I distinctly remember being surprised by the number of older patrons in attendance. Maybe they had no idea what was in store for them, I figured. I was further surprised during the first half of the set; the group played it pretty straight, with Frisell's fluidity, melodic command, and trademark tone (augmented with delay, reverb, and volume pedals) standing out amid all that talent onstage. And then, after a brief intermission, the Boredoms' Yamatsuka Eye came out, and within moments all hell broke loose—Naked City launched into its violent, shift-on-a-dime blend of speedcore, noise-rock, noir-twang, and free jazz, with Frisell and Zorn prodigiously propelling the action. It sounded amazing, and I kid you not when I say that I saw old people literally stumbling for the exits with hands over their ears and pained expressions, as if a concussion grenade had just gone off. Within a few minutes, the sold-out theatre was 80 percent cleared.Read the full review of Bill Frisell's set at Jazz Alley. 

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