Live Review: Macefield Music Festival 2016, Day 1

Erik Blood at Tractor Tavern // photo by Melissa Wax

And so we witnessed another amazing music festival! This time it was the 4th annual Macefield Music Festival that took place this weekend across Conor Byrne, Tractor Tavern, The Sunset Tavern, and the charmingly bricked streets of Ballard Ave. Macefield Music Festival was named after Edith Macefield, who was the famously strong-willed Ballard tenant who refused to sell her house for commercial property. It only makes sense sense that Edith Macefield’s historic legacy brought together some historic acts and moments Friday night like Erik Blood’s final show as a Seattle musician (because he’s moving to LA) and the first show in seven years by The Heavy Hearts

photo by Greg Stonebraker

Day one got off to a great start with one of Seattle’s rough-textured rock bands, World Bank who kicked off the festival at 7pm at Tractor Tavern with their darkened post-punk. Following them, Briana Marela set a dreamier tone for the next couple acts. The hometown duo mesmerized the room with their pop-centric vocal harmonies and synth-packed leads. Up next was Erik Blood’s notable last performance as a Seattlieite, but naturally in his own suit. Mostly likely still coming off the high from his recent The Stranger Genius Award last weekend, Erik Blood channelled and sprinkled his dream pop charm on the crowd while being slightly washed out by his enthralling visuals of psychedelia.

All photos by Melissa Wax (except where indicated)

Briana Marela at Tractor Tavern

Erik Blood at Tractor Tavern

Erik Blood at Tractor Tavern

Evening Bell provided a mood-blending transition between Erik Blood and Shelby Earl with their tinge of psychedelia and twangs of country genres. A song like “Tail Light” nicely ties things together pretty well. Shelby Earl brought the folk rock in full and brilliant fashion, which allowed Alabama-based Banditos to pack the house with boot-stomping, good-time country vibes.

Evening Bell at Tractor Tavern

photo by Niffer Calderwood

Shelby Earl at Tractor Tavern // photo by Niffer Calderwood

photo by Niffer Calderwood

Banditos at Tractor Tavern // photo by Niffer Calderwood

Down the road, the more no-wave aesthetics of Nail Polish kicked off the fest over at Sunset Tavern. The Sunset sustained its credo as the raucous venue throughout the night (and festival) with no-holds-barred punk bands Sashay and VHS as middle-of-the-night thrashers.

Nail Polish at The Sunset

Nail Polish at The Sunset

photo by Niffer Calderwood

VHS at The Sunset // photo by Niffer Calderwood

Down the street again at Conor Byrne, Gibraltar cranked out some heavier guitar-and-keys-driving alt-rock numbers that primed showgoers for a varietal mix of blues from the Yada Yada Blues Band and alt-country, honey-sweet ditties by Danny Newcomb & The Sugarmakers.

Gibraltar at Conor Byrne

Gibraltar at Conor Byrne

photo by Rich Zollner

Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers at Conor Byrne // photo by Rich Zollner

photo by Rich Zollner

Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers at Conor Byrne // photo by Rich Zollner

Back over at the Sunset to close our their night, the air waves got torn up by the 206-repping sonic sluggers of Absolute Monarchs, The Heavy Hearts, and Maszer.

Absolute Monarchs used their beautifully dissonant-charged howls to continue coating the evening with elated kinetic energy. To everyone’s excitement, The Heavy Hearts played their first show back on the same stage they last played seven years ago. For such a hiatus, they seamlessly slayed as if they hadn’t take a hiatus at all. The Sunset’s Friday night grand finale couldn’t have been better slated then for the explosively polyrhythmic, Middle Easternly riffing post-rock, and multi-membered-drumming fantasia of Maszer.

Absolute Monarchs at The Sunset

The Heavy Hearts at The Sunset

The Heavy Hearts at The Sunset

Maszer at The Sunset

Maszer at The Sunset

Maszer at The Sunset

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