Live Review: Baths @ Neptune Theatre, 12/9/11

photos by Dave Lichterman

Will Wiesenfeld’s music as Baths has always been intensely emotional, as shown by the many beat-centric hits that pervade his debut album Cerulean. After conquering both Chop Suey and the Capitol Hill Block Party, he decided to round out his breakout year with one final Seattle performance, this time at the Neptune Theatre with fellow electronic wizard Teen Daze.

Opening for Baths is no small feat, but it’s one Vancouver chillwaver Teen Daze has accomplished before, this past summer at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party. After a phenomenal headlining dance party at the Vera Project, Teen Daze had Seattle worried that he wasn’t coming back for the rest of 2011 – luckily for us, we had no reason to fear. Daze’s synth grooves brought down the considerably packed all-ages house, swelling to fill the cavernous Neptune Theatre with arpeggios and swirls to everyone’s heart’s content. Drawing a leaf from Baths’ live book, Daze also broke out the drops and breakdowns, offering fluttering drums and danceable rhythms that got the crowd moving long before Baths took the stage.

Whereas Teen Daze’s Jamison rarely spoke during his set, Wiesenfeld took a different approach, almost guiding the crowd through their movements. Comments like “it’s going to go fast-slow-fast” and “time to get sloppy and weird” drew laughs and cheers from the crowd, euphoric in their swaying, head-bobbing trance. Nigh-raver hits like “Apologetic Shoulderblades” and “You’re My Excuse To Travel” were sandwiched between more melodic “Hall” and “Seaside Town,” but when it was time for the childlike vocal sampling of “Aminals,” everyone shouted along. Hands felt for the ceiling like it was drapery as bodies moved in time, cementing Baths’ place as one of the better electronic live acts around. It just goes to show you don’t need repetitive, warbling bass and a whole lot of ecstasy to have an amazing time at a concert.

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