It took summer a while to get going this year in Seattle, but it seems (knock on wood) that the rain has finally decided to take a prolonged break and the sun might be out for good. What better timing, then, for KEXP’s summer concert series at the Mural Amphitheater at the Seattle Center to get under way? Every Friday evening in August KEXP and the Seattle Center will be hosting a free concert at the Mural Amphitheater, featuring different artists that you’ve likely heard over the KEXP airwaves and that should all put on memorable live performances. Every week the doors, along with a 21+ beer garden, will open at 5 PM and the festivities will run from 6-8. The exception is August 14th, which is the 8th Annual KEXP BBQ, where the food, drink, and music will be flowing all day from 2-9 PM. Elliott Brood, Grand Hallway, and Gabriel Mintz will be kicking off the series this Friday.
Elliot Brood are a three-piece band from Toronto, and no, no one in the band is named Elliott Brood. They play passionate, energetic folk rock with an emphasis on “rock.” Elliott Brood have the appearance of a low-key country/folk band, featuring a banjo, acoustic instruments, and moniker that hints at introspection. Their instrumentation, however, along with Mark Sasso’s raw wail, is powerful and often leaves audiences wondering how so much sound and energy could come from a band of only three. If you want to hear what the deal is before you come out, they’ll be playing Friday at noon on the Midday Show on KEXP
Local musician Tomo Nakayama’s eclectic chamber pop collective Grand Hallway are also on the bill Friday. Their songs are weighty, emotional folk that is as diverse as their live show, which features a varied mix of musicians playing a everything from banjo, to violin, to mandolin, to piano. It’s amazing to watch all the different personalities of Grand Hallway come together on stage to produce their beautifully and unique style of folk pop. What better place to bear witness than the Mural Amphitheater?
Local singer/songwriter Gabriel Mintz will round off the Mural Series’ opening night schedule. Gabriel Mintz live, when he’s not playing solo, features Trent Moorman of Head Like A Kite on drums and Geoff Stanfield on bass. You might recognize the beautiful “Western Days” from the KEXP airwaves, and while several of his songs have this similar beautifully longing quality, he also knows how to get raw and electrified (see “Safeway”). More than anything, Gabriel Mintz is a songwriter through and through, and it’ll be a treat to see him at the Mural on a sunny Friday evening.