A month of shows with DJ Shannon

DJ Shannon & Guy Garvey

photos and review by DJ Shannon

May is an awesome month for shows in Seattle. My first 2 weeks have been jam-packed with some all-time faves and new up-and-comers.

Kicking off May, Elbow played the Showbox. They played earlier in the day on KEXP. Lead singer, Guy Garvey, knows how to work the crowd, especially the female fans. Lots of eye contact throughout the show: he winked at me, sang to my Scottish friend Kathryn, shook hands at the end with the front rows and kissed my hand. A typical night in the life of a KEXP dj. ; ) I love shows where everyone sings along and this was certainly one of them.

They asked the crowd what song we could all sing to encourage them to come back out on stage for an encore. One fan suggested “Louie Louie” and the crowd burst into song.

Bournemouth, UK-based band Air Traffic opened the show with a powerful set. Singer/Pianist Chris Wall is the perfect frontman. His intensity and energy keep you mesmerized. He pounds on the piano, moving around hyperactively while sitting on a gear case. They’ve been compared to Coldplay and I could see why. Heavy on the keys, their song “Shooting Star” echoes Coldplay’s “Clocks.” Wall’s vocals scream Hot Hot Heat.

The next night I went to Neumos to see Does It Offend You, Yeah? It had been 2 months since their live in-studio during SXSW and I really wanted to see them again but in a club setting rather than on a huge soundstage. They didn’t disappoint and got the crowd dancing. Yes, Seattle can dance.

By Thursday I was off to Vegas to meet up with my mom for the weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day. I got my fix of roulette but didn’t make enough money to buy the Arsenal Football team. I treated my mom to the Beatles Love Cirque de Soleil show. I can never get sick of that show. I saw it back in December and have dreamt about it ever since. I kept saying I’d fly back for the show alone. Had lunch at Hard Rock Café with my friend Tim and called it a somewhat successful Vegas trip. Now I just have to read Bringing Down the House before my next visit so I can win enough $$ to buy a house in Seattle. Good luck!

Monday rolled around and it was time for South at Nectar. I’ve lost track how many times I’ve seen them but once was with Elbow and the other with Doves. Yet another awesome show (I feel so lucky). I ran off afterwards to my radio show and awaited their arrival to perform on my show. They played a stripped-down acoustic set including new single, “Better Things” and “Tell Me.” Finishing out the set with a surprise cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

The only other band who’s performed on my show was Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. I’m honored to host two awesome bands.

On Thursday was my highly-anticipated show with three female Swedish singer-songwriters at the Triple Door. Anna Ternheim opened, followed by Lykke Li and headliner El Perro del Mar. I’ve been championing Lykke and her music for a few months now. I saw her a couple times during SXSW as well as Swedish band the Shout Out Louds. (It’s a fine year for Sweden.) She commanded the stage and the crowd with her hit single “Little Bit” and my favorite track, “I’m Good I’m Gone.”

photo by David Frank (view more from the show)

This weekend, I’m off to Sasquatch to see 3000+ bands, most of which I’ve already seen. But it’s at the Gorge and the Gorge is gorgeous.

The month ends with Foals, my favourite British band. They’ll be huge. HUGE! All caps. Check them out at Neumos and also at Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary festival at Marymoor Park on July 13th.

I can only dream about what June has in store for me.

DJ Shannon is on Monday overnights every week from 1am until 6am PST.

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