This Saturday: the 8th Annual KEXP BBQ at the Mural Amphitheater

The 8th Annual KEXP BBQ will be taking place this Saturday at the Mural Amphitheater in the Seattle Center as part of KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural series. Unfortunately the weather didn’t exactly cooperate for SeaFair last weekend, as 20,000 fewer attendees were out at Lake Washington than in 2009. There isn’t a cloud in sight on the forecast for this weekend though, with temperatures looking to get into the mid to high 80s. The beer garden and DJs sets will start up at 1 pm, with the live music kicking off with Victor Shade at 2:00 and running until Quasi finishes up at 9:00. The day will be hosted by KEXP’s Kevin Cole, John Richards, and DJ El Toro and there will be all the free music and BBQ your ears and stomach can desire. Here’s a run down of the artists that will be playing, in order of appearance:


Victor Shade will start off the day at 2:00 pm, and for many this could be the most anticipated act of the BBQ. From Seattle, Victor Shade, a.k.a. Ryan Abeo, a.k.a. Ra Scion of local hip hop duo Common Market, has been making a name for himself as a solo MC over the past year, but live appearances have been rare. Victor Shade is the alter ego of the superhero The Vision, and Abeo embraces the comic book concept, often donning a cape on stage, and flashing a Superman keychain before lyrically educating some jewel thiefs in his video for “Soothsayer” (below). His style is aggressive, in-your-face, and his beats are large and ominous. Just make sure you get to the Seattle Center early enough to catch his set, because in true superhero fashion, he might vanish from venues around Seattle for the foreseeable future.

Victor Shade – Autograffiti (MP3)


From Brooklyn, Dinosaur Feathers play an eclectic style of tropical, mostly acoustic indie pop that will be a considerable change of pace from Victor Shade, to say the least. But that’s why the KEXP BBQ is great, there’s something for everybody! Dinosaur Feathers self-released their debut album Fantasy Memorial, and they list every independent record store in the country that has it in stock on their MySpace page. They’ll be heading back across the country to Brooklyn after the BBQ, playing a number of “venue TBA” dates in between. Dinosaur Feathers are fresh, energetic, and their airy melodies and beautiful vocal harmonies should be a perfect show for a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Dinosaur Feathers – I Ni Sogoma (MP3)


Welsh 3-piece band The Joy Formidable will take the stage at 4:00, and should offer another decided change of pace from the band preceding them. They’ve been generating buzz overseas since 2008 with their dark, powerful, cascading indie rock, lead by front woman Ritzy Bryan on vocals and guitar. They released their debut album A Baloon Called Moaning last year in the UK, and it hit shelves stateside earlier this year. This show should rock.

The Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade (MP3)


From Anacortes, The Lonely Forest formed in 2005 and were quickly noticed by Jack Endino, with whom they recorded an EP in 2006. A pair of full-lengths followed in 2007 and 2009, and now they’re set to release a brand new EP on September 14th. The four-piece band play forceful indie rock and are led by keyboard player John Van Deusen and his incredible voice. After playing the BBQ, they’ll be embarking on a massive nation-wide tour, in which they’ll continue to promote their upcoming release, which might see The Lonely Forest heading in a different direction. They just leaked “Live There” an homage to life in the Northwest that is far more down-tempo than what they’ve showcased on previous releases. It can be heard here.

The Lonely Forest – We Sing in Time (MP3)


Suckers are a four-piece from Brooklyn and play buoyant, up-beat indie pop. Their songs typically start out simple, with a few dinky effects or notes here and there, and slowly build up, adding layers upon layers until there is so much going on that you can hardly keep up. After playing the BBQ, they’ll be touring the US with Menomena, swinging back through Seattle on September 10th when they’ll play the Showbox at the Market. In October they’ll head overseas where they’ll play some dates with fellow Brooklyn-ites Yeasayer. Their debut full-length Wild Smile was released earlier this year.

Suckers – A Mind I Knew (MP3)


Veteran Northwest indie rockers Quasi will close out the BBQ at 7:40. After spending a decade on Touch & Go, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss have teamed up Jicks’ bassist Joanna Bolme and released a new album “American Gong” on Kill Rock Stars. Quasi will be the perfect band to bring the evening to a close at the Mural Amphitheater, and their indie rock will take your straight back to the 90s when you couldn’t get enough of Built to Spill, Pavement, and the like. And speaking of Pavement, Quasi will be opening for them at the Paramount on September 5th. This show has not sold out yet, but you better get your tickets quick.

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