SEATTLE- a friend had invited me out on a warm May 15th night, to the comet tavern in Capitol Hill for companionship while taking in a live show. I despise seeing shows at the comet because of the construction of the venue. The floor is angled in a tri-angle type shape that backs directly into levitated booths. There are benches and pillars in the middle of the floor making it impossible to view any of the bands performing unless you stand on the benches. Bench standing can put you are in harms way of intoxicated patrons as well as intoxicated comet staff. The comet usually has a very drunk crowd that loves to flail their arms about spilling drinks on you while running you off your area on the standing bench. Due to all of the gala affairs that I have stated above, I desire to attend live shows elsewhere. This particular May 15th night, I prepared myself by wearing clothes I am not to attach to with a pair of comfortable shoes.
About an hour after I had arrived at the Comet and secured a spot on the standing bench, a local Seattle band by the name of The Blood Red Dancers, took the stage. I was immediate intrigued by their appearance. The drummer was dressed like an extra from the 80’s film Revenge of the Nerds, the keyboard player sported a bit of an aristocratic ensemble and the singer looked as though he had just rolled out of bed. He had on a white V-neck shirt, jeans, and messy hair. The Blood Red Dancers are Kevin R. Lord, Aaron Poppick and Julian Thomas. Their Myspace pages describes their music as “Sounding like liquor first thing in the morning.”
I could not help but giggle a bit and think to myself, “What have I got myself into tonight?” Once the band began their performance, I noticed I was becoming unable to chat with my friend as well as remove my eyes from the make-shift stage. I was soon completely mesmerized. The music sounded heavily influenced by the blues, jazz and classic country. The sound was dirty, raw and brilliant. The vocals gave off a Tom Waits vibe and the lyrics were catchy yet original. The band got the crowd interested within seconds of their first song and by then end of their set, the crowd was singing along to a song they had never heard before. In unison everyone sang, “Pennies off that dead guys eyes!”
Never once getting bored and only removing my eyes from the band to catch the crowd’s enthusiasm, I soon found myself feeling grateful to be at the Comet that May 15th night. In our pop-culture dominated society, I forget sometimes that the love for live independent music is still very much alive and kicking. I was defiantly reminded of that while watching The Blood Red Dancers.
Review written by: Jackie Em, Freelance writer and illustrator