NadaFest 2016 Night 1
Oct. 21 @ Substation
By Matt Ashworth
On Oct. 21, 22, and 23 of the year two thousand and sixteen, persistent Northwest online music zine NadaMucho.com held a three day celebration of independent music at Substation, which is right exactly where Fremont becomes Ballard as you’re heading west.
All sorts of amazing acts performed after Tim asked them nicely if they would. Brian made posters. Raven MCed. Jess made videos. Crystal and Steven made sure the sound coming from the alternating stages was good.
Here are random thoughts from opening night in chronological order.
Stiff Spirit opened by bashing out a loud punk/rock set with catchy choruses and no fuss in the newly-opened back room, which housed mostly bands from our list of “41 Bands to Watch in 2015,” #41for2015.
Nada Photo Editor Jim Toohey describes avante-punk band Downtown as “Devo meets Mudhoney.” I’d throw in a little Andy Kaufman. Brilliantly ironic and confusingly confrontational stuff. A personal highlight of #NadaFest 2016.
The Screaming Multitudes
I may be turning in to a cartoon of myself when it comes to my music selections, but The Screaming Multitudes remind me of the Pixies and Weezer and all those great indie guitar rock bands I grew up on without sounding too much like any one of them. Given that that genre was EXACTLY MY FAVORITE KIND OF MUSIC for a good chunk of my life, you might think it would be a layup for local bands to catch my attention with these reference points, but it usually has the opposite effect. It’s a tough category. As always, it’s the songs that seal the deal, and I like all seven on the the Multitudes’ BandCamp page. I checked again after the show to make sure.
I’m not usually one to get all spiritual and hyperbolic about atmospheric electronic music but I swear Lilac put me in a trance. I sat and leaned against the wall in the back room for at least 20 minutes. I didn’t look at my phone or anyone else… just floated away.
Richie Dagger’s Crime
The last time I saw Richie Dagger it was just him with a violin and a bunch of loops. This time he had a five piece soul band behind him and the CTPAK visuals crew involved. Tim got a video. Jess did an interview.
Low Hums are jangly, psychedelic rock greatness. The flow of traffic between the alternating main stage and back room was at its height when they played, with bands and fans milling about, buying merch, and looking at the art on the Substation walls. The room was so packed I had to wait until some folks left to go in, but I got there just in time for this song. Then I bought both of the albums they had on vinyl.
The members of the band Wiscon have magnetic personalities. You could feel it in the room whenever they were there, and even more so when they were on stage. Tim got another video. Jess did another interview.
Wild Powwers get better every time we see them. At #NadaFest they played tons of their own awesome songs, some of which contain foxy dual girl vocals, covered Nirvana, and talked about drinking pee in their interview with Jess. All of this came after nailing their pre-show KOMO Refined interview. So it was a strong #NadaFest showing for Wild Powwers.
Tim got yet another video. Jess did yet another interview.
Click on the poster image below for more performance pictures from #NadaFest night 1 and the photo below that for offstage moments, both on our Flickr page.