Once again, I found myself back in The Piranha Shop. The room was loud with chatter as I made my way inside and began inspecting the stage. It was jam-packed with equipment. Eastern Souvenirs, I Will Keep Your Ghost, and Headwaves were armed with enough of instruments, effect pedals, and sample pads to send this venue into a dreamy vortex. Soon the lights began to lower, and it was time for some music.
Eastern Souvenirs is the recording project of multi-instrumentalist Brian Fisher who is joined by drummer Nicholas Blodgett during live performances. Every song was tranquil yet beautiful and brought to mind images of a pristine lake surrounded by lush forestry. Watching Brian Fisher work on stage was completely hypnotizing. Starting with a simple drum beat, he continuously looped more sounds and melodies that weaved together into these deep and complex songs. Blodgett’s drumming was fast paced and full of fluid drum fills that were exciting to watch. Fisher’s hands were constantly in motion. Often times he would be pressing buttons on his sample pad while simultaneously striking synth chords like it was nothing. The nylon-stringed acoustic guitar was the final piece to complete the massive sound of Eastern Promises. It’s rich, classical tone carried you farther into those lush woods and farther from all your responsibilities and troubles.
I Will Keep Your Ghost’s Bryan Bradley, Doug Evans, and Sarah Feinberg kept the melodic experience moving with music from their new EP, Options. Their pulsating synths, funky basslines, reverbed and delayed guitars, and beautiful vocal harmonies created a sound that was undeniably dancey. Bradley’s vocals were powerful and his guitar playing was highly emotional. You could really hear the melancholy bleed from his fuzzy guitar riffs that seemed to almost swallow the room whole. Evans controlled the synths and the drum tracks. He produced these wonderful rhythms that sounded like what a dance party in deep space might sound like. Feinberg’s vocals gave every song this dreamy, ambient feeling that you got lost in if you weren’t careful. She also masterfully operated the synths when Evans switched to the bass guitar. It is always a pleasure to see band members democratically switching instruments.
Ryan Barber, Larson Haakenstad, Leah Tousignant, Harry Wirth, and Cyrus Wirth of Headwaves gave an electric performance. They were full of energy while playing and shined especially bright in their musicianship. Every song had this tremendous forward momentum and each member helped push the sound a little bit further into the unknown. During one of these moments, you might ask yourself, “where are we headed? What happens next?” Together, they built this tension that slowly crept higher and higher until eventually, it boiled over. Larson would explode with these guitar solos that were so powerful they made you grit your teeth while the drums, bass, and keys continued to drive the sound deeper. You could feel every instrument working in perfect unison to make this blissful moment possible. Earlier this year in February, Headwaves’ van and trailer were stolen after a show at The Tractor Tavern. Although both were recovered, and the stolen gear insured, the band had still suffered a major loss. Now, here they were kicking off their west coast tour with a Seattle Secret Show and premiering the music video for their song Left Right. Talk about a bounce back.
There are times in our life where we can feel lost or confused. It can be difficult in these moments to just let go and exist in the present. This secret show reaffirmed my belief that there is no better cure for this feeling than live music. Live music gets you out of your head and into this room full of bright lights, positive energy, and talented musicians. In real time you experience these musicians opening up through their voices and instruments. These feelings wash over you and rope you in. You focus only on the sounds flowing through your brain and how it makes you feel. You feel like you can finally catch your breath and relax. You are reminded that moments like these are what life is all about it, and if you have moments like these you are doing just fine. Thank you to Eastern Souvenirs, I Will Keep Your Ghost, and Headwaves for this wonderful night. In the words of Larson Haakenstad, “Making music is a part of life. It keeps us moving.”
Want to go to a Seattle Secret Show? Our next show on April 26th is sold out but tickets are still available for our show on May 24th that will feature performances by Brendan James and more. Also, be sure to mark your calendars for our 10 year anniversary show on June 23rd! You can find out more information on all our upcoming events by visiting www.seattlesecretshows.com.
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Pictures from the show
Photos shot and edited by Mocha Charlie