photos by Ron Henry
Since we moved the BBQ to the spacious South Lake Union Discovery Center lawn, we don’t get to do too much off the back porch anymore. That is, not until last night, when Mudhoney and No Age played a free show in the KEXP parking lot, co-sponsored by Free Yr Radio. If you weren’t there last night, you missed one hell of a show.
The atmosphere was crazy — people lined up around the block and the dark skies worried us all about rain. The stage and a few sponsor tents were all that was covered. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, but the limited space kept things intimate. The makeshift stage in the center of the lot was obviously thrown together at the last minute by Sanford & Son (thanks for the splinters!), but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. With a stage that small, you couldn’t get much closer to the action without picking up an instrument — just the way you want to see a couple great loud bands. Around and hovering over the crow, film crews and photographers were in a frenzy. Obviously, this was no normal Wednesday.
No Age started with an energized set influenced by some rowdy kids up front eliciting calls from the band for: “Kids to the front!” Sound issues did their best to annoy the band, but these guys live in feedback and adjusted nicely. They even introduced him as a guest member of the band. Their set ended much like the one at SP20: with people on top of Amplifiers, guitars thrown at drumsets, and a broken string. Definitely bleeding edge stuff and one of my favorite new bands of 2008.
Next up was Mudhoney. By far the closest I’ve ever been to them performing (look out for swinging bass guitar) they took the stage with incredible energy and blasted through about an hour long set of classics and some new material. It was almost surreal seeing Mark Arm slithering on stage with the rest of the guys. Throughout the second half of their set though, it was obvious there was a problem. I’m no electrician but something was either smoking or already on fire and now the band was starting to look around and sniff. This is when I started getting worried: enclosed space with only one exit, lots of people, panic, fire, etc. Mudhoney seemed unphased by the whole thing and actually took the opportunity for a quick Q&A session with the audience. It soon got ridiculous though when people started asking them for their favorite M&M and Skittles flavors (BTW: blue and orange). After the band started screaming “Does anyone know what the &*%# is going on with the PA?”, things got rolling and they finished with a couple more classics to end their set.
And to the little kid rocking out on stage with the blue hair and Smurfs t-shirt: We salute you!
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