October 8, 2009

Live Review: REVERB Festival

Unnatural Helpers

Seattle, WA // Oct. 3, 2009

On the first cold Saturday of fall in Seattle, the only thing denser than the wind was the air of excitement for REVERB. Droves of concertgoers filled 10 Seattle venues that spread out performances spanning punk to country to jazz. Venues were also versatile, many holding shows throughout the day and catering to all ages audiences. No one was to take a back seat this night.

Murmurs could be heard that this is the best Seattle concert festival all year. It’s easy to see why. Between the admission cost ($8), number of bands (60+) and the venues seemingly perfectly spread out in location and evenly split between dive bars and rec halls, it’s the best kept secret in the Seattle concert season. The streets became crowded at night with seasoned folkies, hipsters and fans in their twilight years sipping wine and nodding to the noodling throughout the venues.

Kaylee Cole

Spokane native Kaylee Cole debuted her new band (who covered Beirut and featured new songs from her album due early next year) that featured cello and acoustic guitar to accompany her piano. She performed new songs for the first time to an audience that included her parents.

The line at the Tractor Tavern for The Maldives was so long it stretched to the next venue, Hatties Hat, where Grand Hallway's Shenandoah Davis played a solo set inside. Meanwhile. buskers, troubadours and hot dog vendors entertained crowds outside.

Coconut Coolouts

The strongest performances were scattered throughout the venues, but afterhours the Sunset Tavern was the place to be, featuring a 1-2-3 punch of crowd-pleasing performances. First up was an intoxicated Unnatural Helpers and their form of ultra loud head-bobbing punk. Next, the Coconut Coolouts husband and wife combo jammed on keyboards, drums and bass with their guitar and multi-instrumentalist bandmates. Members of the day’s other bands could be seen dancing and singing in the audience.

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

The evenings final performance came from seven-piece Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, who were forced to shed two band members at home to fit on the tiny Sunset stage that is about as large an apartment living room. The experimental rock troupe was stunned at the amount of people still around for their 12:35 a.m. set, after a day of singing, partying and listening.

Review and photos by Clint Goulden

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