This past Friday night my eyes and ears were treated to what can only be described as Epic. On Friday, May 22nd Tacoma Washington’s own Seaweed blessed Brooklyn’s Bell House with a reunion show for the ages. I got to the Bell House a few minutes early and had a chance to stake the place out. I’d heard mixed reviews about the large bar and performance area from varied sources. Most of which described their love/hate relationship with the spot. Anyone visiting can’t help but notice how though very large in size they manage to keep a cozy, friendly vibe throughout. Everyone I met on the staff from the ticket collector to the bartenders were very friendly and had absolutely no hipster vibe to them. As I made the rounds and ran into a number of friends and familiar faces I couldn’t help but feel I was in for a memorable night.
(Damn) This Desert Air opened the night and though I don’t like to use the word twice in one week, Their sound was ‘EPIC’. Though the members come from such well known acts as Instruction, Nora and Fire Still Burns to name a few. DTDA’s sound is somewhat larger and deeper. My ears were hearing influences such as Quicksand and early Thursday. I couldn’t help but think the room was the perfect size for what they were performing. Needless to say it was good on the ears.
Next up was Chicago’s All Eyes West. A band I’ve been hearing more and more buzz about lately. There are many ways to describe a bands performance and style but the if I were asked to describe them I’d say “Think of a twister that rolls into town and levels every mother fucking thing in site” Then add musical instruments. I’ll say this for the record: Jeff Dean is a god damned assassin. I brought a wide angle lens to shoot the show and Christ, I couldn’t keep up with the guy. If you see him, ask him what the deal is with that crazy leg kick. My one and only regret on the night was that I missed these guys when they played the Court Tavern in New Brunswick about a week before. Insanely good. They’ve got a record due out in June. If it’s anything like their set I might have to buy two copies.
Soon enough the floors of the Bell House became packed as Seaweed took the stage. We were about to be treated to a reunion for the ages. In all honesty there was not a sad face in the entire crowd. Complete strangers became best friends while packed in front of the stage like sardines. There were people like Tracy Keats Wilson who drove all the way up from Richmond. People I talked to who remember when and where they bought their first Seaweed 7 inch or recalled that amazing set the played at CBGB’s in 1993. (Yes, I was there too)
The band quickly launched into Antilyrical and from that point never let up. I don’t think there was a soul in the area code that didn’t feel something. Aarons energy and exuberance were unstoppable. That coupled with a song list that captured the bands finest moments and a crowd that sang along to every song, chorus and lyric and you had a night that people will be talking about for years. Even the encore was killer. Though they didn’t bring out everyone’s favorite Seaweed cover (Fleetwood Mac’s) “Go Your Own Way.” They didn’t miss delivering any of their own classics. Their foot print will remain a lasting one but this show will only serve to have casted a longer shadow. JD