Macefield Music Festival Day 2 Recap
October 2, 2015
By Frida Ray
Last Saturday was my first foray into the delightfully relaxing community celebration that is the Macefield Music Festival. I had no expectations, though I had heard nothing but a flood of compliments about one of our city’s newest music events. And quite honestly, any lineup that has Mark Lanegan listed as a headliner is going to get me driving across town in a hot minute anyway.
I parked my car a whopping three blocks from the main stage and casually sauntered down Ballard Ave to the press checkpoint: no rowdy drunks in my way and no barricades to navigate, save entry to the main stage area.
I was impressed with the calm atmosphere at check in for press and bands. I walked into a room full of smiling, laughing, jovial people who were so excited to put a wristband on my arm that I began laughing myself; the joy was infectious.
Wiscon was first on my list and, walking into the Sunset, I realized I could not have chosen a better way to begin my Macefield journey. I was originally attracted by the wonderful string of descriptions on the band’s Facebook page, like ‘Synth Pop Punk Weirdness,” but the only weirdness I found during their set was fantastic song titles like “Global Thermonuclear Love.”
Wiscon’s music is rump shaking, driving pop-punk made more delightful by the gorgeous vocals of front-woman Taryn Rene’ Dorsey. She was on fire from the first note to the last, smiling all the way. Further wowing the audience, Dorsey walked off stage with her tambourine during the group’s last song. Breaking the fourth wall is always a thrill for me. I was hooked.
I ran down the street to catch the last few songs from Lazer Kitty. When I arrived, the band was mid stride and the crowd was into it. Scot Porter (Vox Mod) and his brother Kyle seem to have twin energies on stage. Scot is like watching Animal from the Muppets (he stood up to play drums through the entire set, never missing a beat), while brother Kyle wields the keys with blissfully crazed expressions. They are truly a dynamic duo. Meanwhile, bassist Jason Jordan is a calm within the sea of dreamy rambunctiousness that makes the show even more fantastic. I always adore a band that is tight and cohesive while every member is wrapped in their own self-expression.
My favorite moment at every Lazer Kitty show is when Kyle Porter reminds the audience that it’s Lazer Kitty with a zed… “I know we spell it wrong, but that’s okay.”
Right around the corner, OC Notes had taken command of the Main Stage. This was my first time hearing Otis Calvin’s sounds. He may be a one man show but he’s a marvel to enjoy. I wanted nothing more than the fluid poetry he rocks over delicious beats. It made for a dreamy dessert following a Lazer Kitty lunch. I was particularly enamored of one moment when his engaging preaching drifted over elegantly jazzy beats. Two wonderful dancers were an added treat, first on stage for one song and then behind the stage for the remainder of the set. OC Notes truly owned the twilight.
I took a break for a cocktail in the VIP lounge before heading back to the Sunset to get freaky and beaky with one of my favorite local acts, the mysterious Future Shock. In their white suits and masks adorned with ample stage fog, the house lights came down, shrouding the band in pink and blue hues that lent a delicious depth and grooviness to their set.
The venue filled quickly and, by midway through their first track, the crowd was bobbing their heads and dancing along. Their beats are always on point, the addition of a live drummer was a nice touch. Sadly, no beak for this new band member but he did wear a mask to obscure his identity and wield a fabulous pair of blue, glowing drum sticks.
I left the Sunset behind, sprinting towards the man from Ellensburg, Washington who has long held the Northwest captive with his alluring sound. I arrived to an enormous main stage crowd already entranced by Mark Lanegan’s every word. I’m not going to lie; I am beyond smitten with this tour-worn wizard. He has truly reached minimalist perfection with his solo shows.
The last time I saw Lanegan he packed the Showbox with a backing band that included only electric bass and guitar. This time, he arrived with an even more minimal set up. Only a guitar player joined him on stage, which left the focus on his voice. Every deep rumble from his belly, every sonorous note seemed to take me out at the knees.
Where OC Notes commanded twilight earlier, Lanegen conjured the night. The crowd was filled with the old guard of Seattle’s vintage grunge scene as we listened to his ministerial heroin growl. We were all willing supplicants here. I was comfortably nestled in stunned company and completely satisfied with my first Macefield Music Festival.
- Macefield Music Festival 2015: Photo Set
- Macefield Music Festival 2015: Day 1 Recap
- Macefield Music Festival 2015: Day 1 Photo Album (Flickr)
- Macefield Music Festival 2015: Day 2 Photo Album (Flickr)
- Macefield Music Festival 2015: Day 3 Photo Album (Flickr)