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I Heart Neumos: One Girl’s Love Affair with the Capitol Hill Venue

Posted by May 25th, 2004 No Comments »

I Heart Neumos
By Sarah Baker

I’m in love again, and not just because spring is in the air and I’m crawling out of a long hibernation (metaphorically and literally); there’s a brand new venue in town, and along with Catherine Wheel’s Greatest Hits, Neumos is currently rocking my special little world.

My first visit to the Capital Hill club was the February 26th opening night show featuring the Posies. It was a school night and I was wondering if I could muster up the energy to rock late and still make it to work the next morning. The pull of live music was strong that evening, so away I went.

I Heart Neumos
By Sarah Baker

I’m in love again, and not just because spring is in the air and I’m crawling out of a long hibernation (metaphorically and literally); there’s a brand new venue in town, and along with Catherine Wheel’s Greatest Hits, Neumos is currently rocking my special little world.

My first visit to the Capital Hill club was the February 26th opening night show featuring the Posies. It was a school night and I was wondering if I could muster up the energy to rock late and still make it to work the next morning. The pull of live music was strong that evening, so away I went.

It took my date and I a while to find the club’s door (it’s two down from Belgian Frites,) but once inside we caught the last couple SushiRobo songs, then headed off to secure the perimeter of the mysterious new venue. To my delight, I quickly found what must have been one of the best views in the house. At the top of the staircase by the front door is a balcony with a barrier of clear glass extending half-way to the ceiling, meaning you can see the band perfectly and still carry on a pleasant conversation without having to yell at the top of your lungs. “I think I might have a crush on Neumos,” I muttered to no one in particular.

Neumos is a great mid-sized venue with lots of room on the main floor and a spacious upstairs for those who prefer to sit (sometimes I get tired.) The floor plan is a little maze-like, but not at all unmanageable (even if you’re out of your head.) No less than three bars are spread out nicely throughout the club, but the overall vibe is more laid back lounge than European dance club. I also have to mention the bathrooms: clean, spacious and well-lit (but not too bright.) Very impressive.

With my love affair with Neumos now in full bloom, I barely had time to anticipate more live rock n’ roll before Alien Crime Syndicate took the stage. Within minutes I was nearly shitting myself. This Seattle punk band are the epitome of rock gods, with the moves, sound and look to keep my eyes glued and my ears bleeding. It was enough to move me down to the main floor and make my way to the front for a better look. From this vantage point I could literally feel the energy those guys were giving off. And they get mad bonus points for being so cute.

By the time the Posies came on I was fully lovestruck and ready to rock like it was1993. I’ve never been a huge Posies fan and recognize only a handful of tracks, including “Flavor of the Month.” It was a great set nevertheless, and the band’s power pop was making me feel like I was 18 again. In fact, I have the Posies to thank for resurrecting Catherine Wheel from my CD collection.

Days later, I was still high on Neumos, so my girlfriend Melissa and I made plans to come back the following Friday for the SXSW Send-Off.

Slowed by the lure of Belgian Frites (a highly recommended treat that’s both tasty and nutritious) sold next door to the club, we arrived just as the line thinned out, slid into the club and headed for my favorite balcony spot.

We were slowed again when the glass doors leading to the upper level were closed, but before long they swung open from the other side and a girl held the door for us to enter. When we reached the top of the stairs and noticed the catered food I wondered if we’d accidentally crashed the VIP section. Turns out Neumos was just lovin’ us back.

We caught most of the set from The Spits, who rocked the house in a very fun and old-skool punk kind of way. Great seats, great food, great music…what more could I ask for?

Check out http://www.neumos.com/calendar.htm for concert listings and maybe you too can Heart Neumos.


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