THEESatisfaction have a one-of-a-kind live show. Some tracks they sing and some tracks they rap. On other tracks, they just dance. But with every single song, THEESatisfaction proves to whoever is listening that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their new album awE naturalE has been getting rave reviews all over Seattle (all for good reason too – the album is ridiculously good). Cat and Stacia are simultaneously of one mind and completely separate. They dance in perfect unison and move like a single organism, but apart, their personalities are the two sides of THEESatisfaction. On stage together, THEESatisfaction is one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen, and I’m counting the days until they get back to Seattle for another show.
The awE naturalE album release party is held at Neumos on March 29. The band starts 30 minutes late because people keep piling in the door. When Neumos is nearly at full capacity they come on stage. Cat and Stacia may dress like classic divas, but they are stone cold on stage. Their stoic gaze could cut steel. They come on stage dancing and humming along to the awE naturalE intro track “awE”. As the crowd settles down, they start into “Bitch”. People stop yelling are start dancing. The girls sound perfect in a live setting. If anything, they get to play off each other’s strengths even more on stage than they could on the album. Live, “Earthseed” is even more gorgeous and haunting than it ever has been.
As “QueenS” starts up, Stacia beckons to the crowd “Where are my queens at?” All the girls in the first couple rows explode with screams and Stacia’s cold front melts into a grin. As much as I love watching THEESatisfaction perform their cold, emotionless, atmospheric gig, it’s fun to see them reap the benefits of their hard work. This day has been a long time coming and now, they finally get to dance along with adoring fans to celebrate a milestone of their career. “Whatever you do, don’t funk with my groove” Cat croons. With this crowd, that’s a given.
The band detours occasionally from their new album to play some old material, including Snow Motion classic “Bisexual”. As the night moves along, the old songs sound wonderful, the new songs sound wonderful – there’s nothing lost here. “Existinct”, “Deeper”, “Sweat”, and “Juiced” all sound phenomenal and the crowd is loving it.
As far as the awE naturalE track listing goes, “God” and “Enchantruss” are up next. Both tracks feature Palaceer Lazaro of Shabazz Palaces and the crowd is itching to see if he will show. Sure enough, as the intro piano sample of “God” fades in, Palaceer enters stage left and waves. Without a word, he starts in on his verse as the girls dance and sway. The crowd erupts. Cat throws down her verse and Stacia follows. The three of them are all smiles. As “Enchantruss” explodes on the speakers, the crowd goes crazy. Everyone is dancing. As the song finishes, it fades directly into “Needs” and Palaceer leaves without a word. The band still aren’t finished performing their album and he isn’t going to get in the way of that. “Crash” and the explosive “naturalE” go off without a hitch and the band departs the stage. But with the amount of applause happening, the crowd knows there will be an encore.
Palaceer jumps back onstage with the girls and a horn samples starts up through the speakers. It’s the intro to the Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up track “Endeavors for Never”. The girls float around the stage singing their verse as Palaceer bobs off to the side. There’s a huge smile on his face. How could there not be, though? THEESatisfaction and Shabazz Palaces onstage at the same time is any Seattle-ite’s dream. Palaceer raps his verse and the song fades out. Next up is THEESatisfaction classic “Icing”. The girls are having fun and the crowd can feel it. As the track fades, they queue up the last song. It’s “Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile” – the other Shabazz/THEESatisfaction collaboration track off of Black Up. The beat is infectious and the place explodes. The girls even break their trademark stoic look for a quick smile. Everyone is loving it. “…such a force, I tried to stop it but I can’t”, Stasia raps, “So it still morphs, this shit is way too advanced”. It’s a statement that doesn’t even need to be said – THEESatisfaction are on another level.
Palaceer leaves the stage without a word. He knows this night isn’t about him or about Shabazz. He gives all credit to the girls, who deserve every ounce of it. But as the crowd erupts, the girls are soft-spoken. They smile and grin and wave and finally Cat says “See you guys in the Fall – we’re going to Europe!” The crowd gives one more round of applause as they dance off stage.
It just goes to show that THEESatisfaction are exactly who they say they are in their music. awE naturalE is all about empowerment of self and proving yourself on your own terms (read our review of the album here). On the album, THEESatisfaction are inspiring and relatable. Live, they are exactly the same. Stacia and Cat are in perfect unison with each other all night. They sing and rap and dance and flow with no regards to the crowd. THEESatisfaction perform for themselves, and their confidence is infectious. It’s a principle that any music group should strive for, and THEESatisfaction have it down to a science.
Check out more photos from the show below: