Timbrrr! Fest 2015: A Tweet by Tweet Recap
Words by Marika Malaea
Photos by Justin R. Jensen
To be fair, Timbrrr! 2015 actually started without us because of what boils down to “reasons,” but we got there in time to see KEXP DJ Troy Nelson introduce Legs and find the Icicle Brewery booth.
Legs: where have you been all my life!!
No one likes a good pair of legs like I do, and this Brooklyn-based indie dance band showed off my favorite pair. Long and lively, they were positively bouncy. The driving, disco-like bass coming from the lead singer’s sister, plus their overall enthusiasm, did something to the crowd of not-totally-drunk-yet Pacific Northwesterners. At times they conveyed a very Hercules & Love Affair vibe, while maintaining their own unique sound. When the lead singer yelled, “You are Legs! We are Legs!”, all of our collective limbs believed him. And then we danced even harder.
Deep Sea Diver
Deep Sea Diver, a new-to-me band, started with a girl, Jessica Dobson, and her electric guitar. A long, building intro with the band made way for a gorgeous set filled with surprising vocal gymnastics and an excellent set rife with sparse, no – full! fuller! fullest! instrumentals. Most songs were from the new album and the drums reminded me a bit of that Helio Sequence guy with a thousand arms. As for dancing, it took them four songs to get the crowd of Northface vest-wearing white folks to dance, but dance (okay, enthusiastic head-nodding) they did.
Seattle rapper Sol is one of those guys who effortlessly exhibits high energy. Backed by a live band, the MC spit out some great beats and rhymes mixed with generic crowd-pleasers, a bunch of “HELL YEAHS” and some straight up funk. The festhalle loved the song “Addictiveness” and the line “I would never ever be sober” connected like a punch with the now-totally drunk audience, as did his pro-weed comments. (Apparently, Sol likes to smoke weed. Color me surprised.) “Jump In” was the best song, motivating even the drunkest couple on molly to get up and move their happy, inebriated feet.
The Banner Days
I’ll just go ahead and admit that when researching bands we would most definitely see at Timberfest, The Banner Days wasn’t one of them. When I listened to a couple of their songs, it sounded like country, which just didn’t connect. Thanks to an overpacked Planes On Paper show at the brewery, we ended up at Munchen Haus for The Banner Days anyway, and for that I am thankful because this band is lovely.
Listening to the banjo on a cold day in an outdoor German pub, while holding a liter of beer, is basically how I want to die. The set-up and sound were very simple: upright bass, banjo, guitar. But Bradford Loomis’ voice had that beautiful, hard-to-reproduce Ray LaMontagne quality, which just blew us away, and that paired beautifully with the voice of Beth Whitney. No one was more surprised by this band than me. Bonus: Out of the insane amount of beards at this festival (and fake beards!), Bradford’s took the crown.
1) Add Ode was fairly quiet, but their twee anti-folk music had nice harmonies.
2) Add Ode’s on-stage banter was…interesting.
3) Damien Jurado wrote some (or all) of Add Ode’s songs and was standing mere feet from us.
4) I was hoping for something a little more upbeat, but maybe it was just the crowd’s afternoon energy at Munchen Haus that was a bit sleepy.
5) Overheard: “This is like medication music.”
Right off the bat I loved Prom Queen, from Leeni, the lead singer, to the outfits and amazing covers (“Justify My Love” and “JOE LIES” from Say Anything!). This band has an ethereal, edgy quality while still being feminine and fun. One imagines them playing at the prom in Back To The Future, or a vintage-cool adult prom, present day. The crowd loved the blue-lipped Leeni, who looks like someone you might play dress-up with, only to go kick somebody’s ass who totally deserves it. And somehow her voice is both soft and bad-ass.
AAN (Amor Ad Nauseum) is a name that’s weird to say and a Portland band that’s hard to describe. They were energetic, at times bigger than the stage itself (was the lead singer screaming at one point, or were we just drunk?) and put on an awesome, aggressive show. Someone next to me said, “Is this like London indie rock or something?” I shook my head “no,” but only came up with “experimental rocksauce,” which wasn’t quite right, either. Singer Bud Wilson’s voice is surprisingly athletic, turning cartwheels when you thought it was reaching the end of a note, and yowling with exact precision. AAN slayed pretty much every song, as evidenced by the audience and their rapid-fire tweeting.
I love Hobosexual, Seattle’s loudest and most inventive two-man band. Here, we were finally at the intersection of Serious Fucking Rock and Liters Of Beer Consumed, which was somewhere around “SO MANY.” This, too, seemed appropriate. Last summer we met Hobosexual’s drummer Jeff at Doe Bay Music Festival in the beer garden, and bonded over being West Seattleites. Later that night, he was airlifted (or so I heard) to a hospital, so their show was canceled. One of the driving reasons for coming to Timberfest was this very band, so we were excited to finally see them. And they did not disappoint. At one juncture, it was like Sound, Hair, and Crowd melded together in a triumvirate of Awesome, and the drunk people screamed and Ben Harwood laid his hard rockin’ voice out for all of fake Germany to see.
Like the tweet says, Red Fang – the Saturday night headliner – tore the stage up, Portland rocker-style. This is the kind of rock (or metal? close to metal? my dad’s rock? is this what real rock sounds like?) that I’m not qualified to listen to, but I heard they were ALL ENERGY, ALL NIGHT LONG. Their songs have that “I-wanna-toss-my-hairs-around and then maybe light something on fire” quality. The crowd, at that point somewhat rowdy and totally drunk as fuck, was all high energy, too. I thought Red Fang delivered a powerful show, at least until I had to pass out three songs in.
- Check out Justin’s full set of Timbrrr! 2015 pictures on Flickr page
- Read Adrienne’s review of Planes On Paper’s debut EP
- Read Adrienne’s review of Hobosexual II