I am a sucker any time I am introduced to a new band that proceeds to impress the pants off me live. This happened when Kolars (Rob and Lauren) opened the New Year's Eve show that was headlined by local phenoms Thunderpussy (I was there covering the Pussiez set again). Kolars brand of glam rockabilly goodness was the perfect start for that show. They announced back then that they would be heading back up here to Seattle in March - the 25th to be exact. I knew I wanted to see them headline so the date was set!
My timing getting to Ballard has improved (depending on who you ask) as I was first in line Sunday night. I was second in line the night before. As fans started to fill up the venue, opener Sammy Brue walked on stage and began his set. Backed by a fiddle player, Sammy performed a solid set of tunes that were heartfelt and earnest. Little did any of us know (I sure didn't) that he was still a teenager (this information came out later in the evening) - much respect to Sammy - go for it young man!
After a very brief changeover, Nashville, TN band Escondido took the stage. A duo of Tyler and Jessica, backed with a rhythm section, I can tell you that I knew nothing of the band prior to their set. Sometimes I'll do a little homework on shows before I cover them but I was swamped with other shows earlier in the week and I didn't get a chance to research Escondido. After seeing their performance on Sunday, I can tell you I will be researching everything I can on this band. They were simply amazing!
They reminded me of a mix of indie rock, folk rock, with, dare I say it, a pinch of dream pop in their songwriting. Yeah, it was a really intriguing sound and one that is working for the group for sure. Jessica's vocals mixed with Tyler's harmonies were one of those combinations that just simply - worked. The song writing was on point and there was enough variety in their setlist to showcase their talents. Some of the tunes were riffed rocking while others were more introspective, Escondido made fans out of many in attendance myself definitely included. I hope to see them again in Seattle soon.
After another changeover, the drums were set up and Kolars kicked into their headlining set. Playing tunes from their album, including one of my favorites, "Dizzy", Rob and Lauren got the crowd moving at the Tractor. Their music is infectious and just makes you feel good. If you don't like a Kolars set then there must be something wrong with you. No, really, unless you're a troll on the internet or a hater spewing negativity all the time, there is no good reason for anyone not to like this band. Period.
Playing with a backing track of keys and bass, Rob sings and plays guitar while Lauren drums and taps away on the kick drum. If you haven't seen them, go check out any video online and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Their nearly hour long set went over extremely well with the audience. I think that NY Eve gig really helped draw a crowd on Sunday night. And now that this gig is in the books, the next time they come up here there will be even more fans at the next show.
Everyone had a great time as the bill was stacked Sunday night. No weak links in the bill and, again, it was a wonderful one two punch of Escondido and Kolars.
Kolars have some exciting news but I'm going to let them post about that when the time is right. Let's just say a certain someone is going to be putting out their new single in the future.
What a fantastic night of music - I covered four shows last week and Kolars, with Escondido, was the cherry on top. Go see both bands - now!
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Special Thanks: Shoshie and Annie for the credentials - thank you very much! Thank you to Rob and Lauren for speaking with me after the show as well as Jessica and Tyler. I am in the process of listening to all of your music right now. Thank you all again for being so generous. I think video interviews are in order the next time your bands come to the Seattle area. I'll be in touch. Safe travels!
(click on any image for a larger photo)