review by Jason Kinnard
photos by Alex Crick
Last Monday night was my first time inside the newly remodeled Crocodile Cafe. The place is definitely a lot different than I remember, but it looked much more polished than last time I had been in. Nice big stage at a proper height, new lighting, good sound; all the elements were there for a great show. Local 5-piece Feral Children started things off with a full compliment of instruments; their unique blend of experimental yet melodic rock sounded fantastic as Jeff Keenan and bass-player Jim Cotton traded vocals. I loved how they used multiple drum sets and switched instruments. It was only the second time I had seen the band play after a long hiatus. They draw deserving comparisons to bands like Modest Mouse and Animal Collective, but they have definitely their own unique vibe. I loved their opening performance. This was shaping up to be a fantastic night of music.
Next up was Brooklyn band The Subjects. I didn’t know anything about this band going in, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was excited to hear a band I had never heard before. I also knew they were touring with headliners White Rabbits so that couldn’t be a bad thing. Their music was different and for some reason the first thing that came to mind for me was Vampire Weekend. They sounded very harmonic but also pretty relaxed; the Croc crowd wasn’t exactly sure how to take them in either. Then a song like The Hounds of War kicked in, and they sounded like they were exactly where they belonged. Another New York band for Seattleites to fall in love with.
Finally, Brooklyn transplants the White Rabbits took the stage. The Croc was quite full at this point and I had a great vantage point of all the action (aka the bar). The sight lines of the club are definitely a lot better now and it sounds every bit as good as the old joint. Another stage full of members, White Rabbits are a six-piece who use every single member to produce their signature sound. I was into the band when Fort Nightly first came out, but the material from their new album, It’s Frightening, just explodes off the stage. Songs like
Percussion Gun sounded fantastic alongside original classics like
The Plot. The band played an efficient, near non-stop set of just about every song from their new album plus an encore. The piano was an important element to the band, but I thought the drums and vocals really stood out. Singer Stephen Patterson definitely doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves for being a first rate showman. This was the type of performance that would have swayed even the casual fan. They may really be onto something with this new album. It was clear the Brooklyn / Seattle love connection was in full effect and the crowd ate them up. What a great night to get re-introduced to the Croc.