Friday, January 5, 2018

Ringing In The New Year with THUNDERPUSSY! Gig Review 12/31/17


Industrial Revelation


Showbox at The Market
Seattle, WA


Ever since the announcement that Thunderpussy had signed with a major record label, the buzz that was already around them intensified that much more. The soiree' on New Year's Eve at the Showbox was, in some eyes, going to be their send off show - the next level for the band show. It actually wasn't. Surprised? Read on.

My impression from 12/31/17 was that we were witnessing the band already at the start of that next level. If you were there, you already know what I mean. From the moment they took the stage. Excuse me, from the moment the dancers took the stage, the audience knew they were in for something fantastic and special. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The show started off with the Los Angeles duo Kolars. Having never seen the band before I, like many in attendance, was immediately drawn into their sound and the tap dancing/drumming performed on stage. Playing a mix of glam, indie, and rockabilly, with elements of pop melody, Kolars were the perfect start to the evening. They went over very well with the crowd, myself included. Their 30-minute set seemed almost too short. They will be back at the Tractor Tavern on March 25th. Check them out and see what all the fuss is about.

After a brief changeover, Industrial Revelation took the stage. A jazz quartet that fuses elements from a few other genres into their sound, the band showed they could flat out play. There was absolutely no question about that. All four gentlemen were just going off on their respective instruments during their 45-minute set. No vocals - they kept the party atmosphere going for most of the fans.

Finally, it was time for the Fire and Ice New Year's Eve soiree' to begin!

A lineup of dancers walked onto the darkened stage. With ice white bob wigs and sparkly silver dresses, they formed a chorus line and got the anticipation up. As the intro of AC/DC's, "Thunderstruck" blasted over the PA, the crowd grew restless.

Ruby, Leah, Whitney, and Molly - all dressed in ice white - got into position on the stage. Molly said a few words into the mic and then Whitney launched into the opening riff (on her black Flying V) of their namesake tune, "Thunderpussy". The dancers had scattered to their positions - one on each side of the catwalk into the audience. So, each barricade had around four dancers on each side (one was right in front of me). If you've ever looked at the inside of the photo pit barricade walls, there are places for the photographers to sit to get shots and to be out of the view of the crowd. The dancers were on each of these "steps" if you will. There were also dancers on the stage. I know dancers ended up in the back during a song as well. Dancers everywhere!

The crowd of course went fucking nuts! I can't remember the last time a band in a club hit the first song with such a strong artistic and musical presentation. I was floored! From the dancers, to the band, to the costumes, to the production team (photographers and videographers), you could tell a shit ton of planning went into this event. And for all those in attendance, we were the very lucky recipients!

"Speed Queen" was up next and the dancers took different spots around the Showbox to enhance the tune (the music video was released in November). The catwalk out into the audience was a very nice touch - something I have not seen at any of the club shows I've covered thus far.

The band eventually stripped off the ice white outfits to reveal their fire red outfits underneath. Again, planning folks. This is what happens when you plan out your creative endeavors before shows. More bands need to think this way. Great stuff!

We got to hear many of the tunes that the faithful have heard over the last year or three (in some cases). Confetti, PBR, and champagne helped ring in the New Year!

Special guests? Of course! Mike McCready of Pearl Jam (and Shadow for you old schoolers out there) fame - who is already known to the fans as a mega supporter of Thunderpussy, came out to jam with the band. Cover tunes? Of course, too! The evening ended with all the bands on stage jamming their hearts out as well. By the end of the show, the crowd was buzzed, drunk and/or exhausted. An absolutely amazing time was had by all!

This event was so well thought out yet was also spontaneous enough to create an energy that really showed why Seattle loves Thunderpussy! I don't know how you can ever see this band perform and not leave with a big ass smile on your face!

The question now becomes will the rest of the world share this love of the band? I would say yes! Why? The things I personally love about the band are universal. Rock and roll. Good times. Dance/movement expression (courtesy of Molly's background). Musicianship (especially the drums - sorry, I had to say it. I HAD TO. Love me some Ruby on the kit!). The down and dirty sexy vibe the band has - strutting their stuff if you will. All of these traits can win them new fans, easily. I overheard more than one group of people Sunday night saying things like, "so and so had never seen the band but they were fucking stoked on them now".

The band has shows coming up that will lead them to SXSW in the New Year to showcase their music to the masses. Once the album comes out, that's when the new rollercoaster will begin. Hopefully management can get the band in front of some appropriate bands to grow their fan base into a new legion of Thunderpussy lovers.

And back here in Seattle, we, the fans, will be waiting to welcome our triumphant Pussiez home!

Happy New Year!

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Chris for the credentials - I really appreciate it! What an amazing event!

Special Thanks: Thunderpussy for putting Seattle back on the musical map! I am never disappointed at one of your shows. Ever. This one will be hard to beat. But, knowing the band, I'm sure you'll find a way. Cheers!

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