Reverb Festival Photos & Review

The Seattle Weekly REVERB fest is a local-acts-only deal, with no big name headliners and no mainstage – just a half-day lineup of some of the best up-and-coming artists playing in Ballard’s finer establishments. Kudos to Seattle Weekly for providing a showcase for the local musicians trying to find their footing.

The Reverb Festival crowd mingles at Conor Byrne (WP/

WP: There’s something fun and anticipatory about attending a show where you know very few names on the bill. Walking in with an open mind and open ears, we were ready for whatever the night had to throw at us. The best part of music is discovering new favorites, after all. We got there pretty late in the day due to other commitments, but we kicked off with a warm-up drink at Conor Byrne, where Mark Pickerel stomped his way through his one-man band performance. We couldn’t hear much near the front of the pub, but he sounded fun and was getting a nice response from the closer crowd. And, I just found out he was the original drummer for the Screaming Trees. Bonus points to him.

LL: I regret not being closer to said stomping actions!

Fly Moon Royalty holds court at Reverb 2011 (WP/

WP: With our Manny’s down the hatches, we crossed the road into the New York Fashion Academy facilities for Fly Moon Royalty‘s set. This isn’t the sort of act I would normally search out, but open ears, open mind right? Sure enough, a great voice and some great beats made for a fun listen! I preferred the more straight up songs where Adra and Action Jackson both got on the mic for a bit of back and forth – less backing tracks to distract from their great words and vocals!

LL: “Dedicate this to a hater, or dedicate to a lover, but don’t dedicate to your parents, that just ain’t right.” Sometimes you just need to sexy dance. I was sexy dancing (uh, in my head) for their entire set. Miss Adra Boo knows how to work a stage.

Curtains For You - Reverb 2011 (WP/

WP: Curtains for You really had a lot of fun, getting the crowd into the show, and rattling off great pop rock tunes. While not an entirely unique sound, they didn’t fall into the usual boring formulaic pop band form either. I’ll have to check out some recordings to figure out exactly what’s going on here, but what I do know is that I had a good time listening to them! If I was throwing a party, I’d want Curtains For You to be playing. Plus, if you don’t like the music, one of the members has handmade jewelry for sale at the merch table!

LL: Oh hell yes, ANGRY FOLK DANCE POP ROCK. I have been craving more foot-stomp bands in my life (see Mark Pickerel regret above). Their set made me feel like – not sound like, mind you – I was listening to the 3:01+ mark of Coeur D’Alene by The Head And The Heart. Yes, I’m going to be that specific. My only disappointment was not already knowing the lyrics so I could join in on the fun a bit more.

Gold Leaves at the Tractor during Reverb 2011 (WP/

WP: Gold Leaves was the one band on the schedule that we made sure to see. The buzz surrounding this band is growing, and we wanted to see what they were all about. The stage was a little crowded with 8 members in the band (as an aside: do you make any money touring with that many people!?), including members from other notable acts such as Grand Hallway. I’m a sucker for the complexity and spectacle that a big band provides. Through the show, I saw several people with their eyes closed, absorbing the swirling sounds and haunting vocals, and it was certainly that sort of show. Beautiful sounds.

LL: At the point that this show started (11pm), I had been awake since 5 am, worked an eight hour shift at The Jerb, and had stuffed myself with a chicken fried chicken dinner from Hattie’s that was almost twice the size of my face. The energy from the previous acts kept me alive, but oh man was I fading fast. I really didn’t want to miss this one though, and I’m so glad we didn’t. The gorgeous performance, though quiet and low-key, kept me entranced the whole way through. Winner Winner For Keeping Me Awake Through A Chicken Dinner = Gold Leaves.

Thanks to Seattle Weekly’s Reverb and all the people who put on the fest. It was a great night of music discovery with a friendly vibe.


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