I went to Seattle to see Los Campesinos! at the Neptune Theater. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had never been to this venue, I hadn’t seen anything about an opening band, and I have only been listening to the headliners for a couple of months. So, I was curious enough to go up and check it out.
The show began around 9 with four dudes creeping out onto the stage and launching into probably the most rousing cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” that I have ever heard. As a shameless lover of all things Phil Collins/Genesis, I was sold, just like that. A fitting start to what was an awesome set by Seattle natives Kithkin.
This thing in the air I felt that night came from these four dudes who had so much energy, so much charisma, and so much obvious love for what they were doing that it was impossible not to laugh at their silly showmanship and dance right along with them. They made me feel like there really was something special happening that night and just by being in that place, watching them play, I was a part of it. The music is pretty intense though, straight up crazy with all the drumming and percussion going on, I don’t even really know how to classify them but it doesn’t really matter. If you saw these dudes live you would have a really great time, you just have to.
Think drums, drums, drums, and more drums. They all play drums and sing, the main singer has the biggest drum set though and the other guys play keyboard, guitar and bass. That’s it, just these four dudes pounding out with so much intensity and having a fantastic time with it. Check out their E.P. Takers and Leavers here. But go see these guys, seriously, they are from Seattle so you should have ample opportunity.
Oh yeah, and I saw Los Campesinos! that night too, on tour after the release of their fourth album Hello Sadness, which came out this past November. I had been reeled in by the undeniably catchy first single “By Your Hand” and ended up listening to the album a good bit, mainly for two songs, “To Tundra” and “Light Leaves, Dark Sees pt. II,” which are intense, emotional kind of anthems that I quite enjoy for the sad poetry and music that kinda reminds me of the early 90s (the musical glory days of my youth). I like the way the dude writes: witty, sarcastic, ironic, bitter, you know, all the tortured self-loathing emotions. One of the things I like most about this album is that it sounds very honest and personal, there’s some real raw emotion coming through the lyrics and the music that I keeps me listening. I hoped that they would bring this same raw intensity to their live performance and I was not disappointed.
The show was really good. They band all seemed to have a good energy and the crowd was super into it, people were dancing and singing and even lots of crowd-surfing, surprisingly. I found the show to be pretty solid, overall.
Did I leave way more impressed with the opening band than the headliner? Yeah, yeah, maybe I did. But I couldn’t help it, the energy of Kithkin is way too infectious to be denied. As lead singer Gareth Campesinos! pointed out, the crowd was a little bit too into the opening band and he found it kind of rude. A joke? Perhaps, but not entirely untrue. People were so into Kithkin that I even wondered how many people were there just to see them and if they even cared about the headliners.
There are some really good pictures from the show in this article from the KEXP blog as well, for those who are curious.
A note about the venue, because it’s relatively new. It was at the Neptune Theater, owned by Seattle Theater Group, who also operate the Paramount and Moore Theaters in downtown Seattle. A pretty cool little venue, an old restored theater at about 90 years old, big enough to book good bands and small enough to feel intimate. Try to get up there and see a show soon, they have some good shows coming up.
Okay, it’s been great, catch y’all next time.