Adventures In Stereo
with the Chamber Strings and the Waxwings
Graceland, Seattle, WA • September 19, 2000
Shows like this make me feel a little bit embarrassed to say that I’m from Seattle. A city with a thriving music scene, a city that has helped change music… a city that refuses to go out to support deserving bands. A city with a lame all-ages curfew and a ban on postering for shows. This is the scarred side of the double-headed coin. Seeing a band like Adventures in Stereo with maybe 20 other people in attendance. I rushed to see this show straight from the Paradox Theater where Tristeza had just finished playing to a very impressive crowd, and I made it all the way to Graceland in time to see the opening act, Chamber Strings, take the stage. Seattle misses out on another wonderful band… no surprise that so many bands leave to find appreciation elsewhere.
Excellent Nikki Sudden-inspired melancholy and rock from this band, and the woman on the keyboards stealing your heart. Playing new songs and selections from their debut CD, the Chamber Strings played an amazing set for such an uninspired crowd. A crowd that thickened up a little to see the Waxwings, who played a fairly collegiate energetic Big Star/Teenage Fanclub-styling set, and maybe these are the guys who brought in the most people, but for me they were just the band in-between the bands I really wanted to see. I’m waiting anxiously for the Chamber Strings’ next appearance… hoping the lack of a crowd didn’t scare them away.
Adventures In Stereo came on, sharing the same drummer as the Waxwings (not to be confused with local heroes Waxwing), and even against the lack of audience, they played a full and solid set. If Stereolab was more of a cohesive song-structuring pop band, they might have sounded this good. They played a decent selection of material, focusing on their newer songs… Indie-rock space-age keyboard pop that’s obviously still too obscure to attract all the local scenesters who are most likely still at home trying to decide if they should be impressing their friends by throwing on the newest Modest Mouse CD or the new Murder City Devils. Oh… forgive me, I do rant at times.
Adventures In Stereo managed to actually rock out in front of the crowd of 20… no excuses, no cutting of musical corners. They played their hearts out and you could tell. For everyone that managed to not see them? Well, god dammit Seattle, your loss again. The band finishes in a glorious wall of sound, the not-quite crowd disperses, and I sit at the bar with my drink until the lights go on… just remembering it all. Tonight and always.