The show was at a local all ages club called The Paradox. It's a converted porn theatre from way back when. It's probably my favorite venue in the Seattle area, because it is cheap, all ages and the people are nice.
The first band to play was the Super Magnificent Action Trio. They're a local band, and I had seen them open up for the Anniversary and Pretty Girls Make Graves a few months before. Um... they were better then, and that's not saying much, because I didn't think much of them then. They just don't sound very tight and polished. Their vocal harmonies were all over the place, and they really just had nothing new to offer. Bland. And this view of them came before seeing the next few bands - and they just reinforced my opinion of the super magnificent action trio.
Between the first and second band, the paradox was nice enough to play the minus the bear cd. Um... rock ass. If you have yet to check this band out, please do- for your sake. They bring the rock. They're playing the paradox with piebald and audio learning center on Saturday, and judging by the two other times I have seen them, it's going to be fantastic. I'll review that show after I see it.
Next up was part 1 of the 3-band tour - a band off of Asian-man records called the plus ones. From the first chord the band played sounded really tight and they were all pretty damn energetic. The bass player was the lead singer, but the two guitarists added some really fine tuned harmonies. I'll tell you one thing, this band loved the power chords. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. My housemate has been listening to a lot of butt rock lately so this is where I grab my reference: think of the power chords butt rock bands have and put them with a more rock beat, better singers, and better lyrics. I don't know if that accurately depicts this band, but you'll just have to trust me I guess, until you hear them for yourselves. I really dug their first two songs... but then everything started sounding the same. There is only so much you can do with power chords. But I picked up the cd, and really, the band was pretty good.
As much as I love Ultimate Fakebook, I will be honest. I came to this show to see the Smoking Popes reunion band - Duvall. Duvall is made up of 3 of the 4 members of the smoking popes, changing only the bass player. And let me tell you, Duvall is picking up exactly where the Smoking Popes left off. In his review of the Duvall album, Scott says that the singer/ songwriter Josh Caterer has once again picked up the crown from all other emotional pop singers. And I would really agree with that. Josh's voice was angelic and clear and powerful. He absolutely blew me away. If you haven't heard the Smoking Popes or Duvall, think maybe The Alkaline Trio (mike, the drummer was even in A3 for "from here to infirmary") without the gruffy voices and a rhythm slowed down to a beautiful head-bouncing pace. If you have heard the 4-song EP by Duvall entitled, "standing at the door," and you are basing your opinion only on it, I will tell you that you are surely missing out. I'm not sating that the EP is anything less than stellar, but since the release of the EP, the second guitar player from the smoking popes has come back to make this a 4-piece. And with this addition, they bring the rock so much more. They played all four songs off of their EP, and one Smoking Popes song, "I know that you love me," (I was hoping for "star struck one," but this song was fine by me too). They played close to a 45-minute set, so most of the stuff they played was new material. And their new stuff is even better than their "old" stuff. So this is my final statement about Duvall: Please, check this band out. If all is right in the world of indie rock, this band will be the next big thing playing an all ages club near you. Josh Caterer will make you melt.
Before Ultimate Fakebook took the stage, they set up some weird lights and other equipment. I thought maybe strobe lights and extra monitors? Boy was I wrong.
Ultimate Fakebook is a straight up rock band. Power pop at its finest, with an arena rock for small settings look. Their new album "Open Up and Say Awesome," is some fantastic power pop music that will make you smile from ear to ear. And seeing this band live made me like them even more. They don't look like rock stars, but they rock like no other. They made this show for less than 200 people into something like an arena rock show. They had bright lights set up behind them and they'd set them off during rocking parts of their songs. They had lights facing towards the ceiling underneath plexiglass, and during the rock solos, the guitar player would jump on top of it and smoke would rise up from beneath him creating a nice and cheesy effect. They really tried their best to be an arena rock band. It was really amusing and made for a fantastic live show. Added to all of this stage debauchery, was their fan-fucking-tastic music. They played a set littered with songs from "open up and say awesome" and their release before their new one, "this will be laughing week." Every song I wanted to hear was played, so I'm not going to bore you with listing off all of the songs. But this band rocked ass.
When this show comes to your town, see it. It will be a cheap show and a good time. Go to see Duvall rock your socks off. Go to fall in live with Josh Carterer. Go to see the amazing stage antics of the rock stars in Ultimate Fakebook. You will have a great time.