BANDS of the Week! #42 – Deck the Hall Ball 2013 Recap

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Me and my 107.7 homie, GREGR!

What could possibly be better than a stacked lineup of alt-rock’s best, hundreds of Christmas sweaters, and a guy wearing a suit of Christmas lights in a mosh pit? Not much! This year’s Deck the Hall Ball (put on by 107.7 The End every year) was definitely one for the books. So in place of the regular #BOTW feature of one band, I thought it would be appropriate to feature this entire lineup! Here’s my recap on the great night of music.

First up, CHVRCHES. Regrettably, I was unable to catch Chvrches’ set due to Seattle’s super lame traffic/parking situation. But from what I heard from fellow #DTHB attendees, they killed it! Click here for a sample!

Foals #RockHornsForDaze
These guys are such a solid band, oozing with great musicianship! Their sound was tight and crafted perfectly for some quality headbanging arena alt-rock! The only thing I didn’t enjoy about this was that their set was TOO SHORT! Check out my previous #BOTW feature on Foals: HERE!

Lorde #TeenQueen
To anyone that doubted Lorde and considered her a one-hit wonder, please step aside. She proved that not only can she sing and perform live alongside these veteran acts, but also introduced some “Royals” haters that her other tunes are just as well-written/catchy. And not that age matters, but honestly, she is barely 17 and put on a KILLER set in Seattle’s biggest concert arena. Probably way cooler than anything you and I were doing at that age! [And she played my fave song, Tennis Court!] Check out my previous #BOTW feature on Lorde: HERE!

Arctic Monkeys #EnglishCharmers
I was ecstatic when I learned Arctic Monkeys were going to grace the #DTHB stage! The fellows of AM are a CLASS ACT. I don’t know if it’s a European thing or what, but these guys have a certain energy and stage presence that cannot be taught. Thanks to their super suave front man (in his fitted suit, glitter dress shirt, and perfectly quaffed greaser hair), the Arctic Monkeys instantly won me over thanks to his warm n’ gravelly tone – that never once faltered, on-stage grooves, and English charm. I just love that this four person band is so straight forward with their music – no show-y added electronic/laptop stuff, just raw rock n’ roll.

Alt J #MuchAmbiance
Having already seen the guys at Bumbershoot this summer, I can say that I have had my lifetime fill of Alt J. No disrespect to the band or their fans, but it is just not my style. While they are great musicians, I just wish there was more melodic structure to their tunes (it gets really ambiance-y after a while). I will say that that one song everyone knows is really catchy though!

The Head and The Heart #HomecomingHeroes
Taking the Deck stage as this year’s only Seattle band, The Head and The Heart definitely made the city proud. These guys have such a real songwriting style that makes it so easy for listeners to connect with emotionally. I must also say that the amount of good singers in this band is almost ridiculous! Their perfectly blended harmonies, along with their wholesome instrumentals is almost as organic and raw as our farmer’s markets. And you Seattleites totes know what I’m talking about!

Phoenix #AltRockersInParis
Boy, was I glad for Phoenix’s slight technical difficult at the beginning of their set (never thought I would ever say that about any band)! Because of what looked like an issue with their keyboards, Phoenix opened up their set with a stripped-down and slowed-down version of “Countdown” while the rest of the crew fixed the issue, and there was something so beautiful about opening the show with such an intimate performance (an experience you will probably never get at an arena show). These Paris natives never disappoint at live shows! Playing old favorites and new hits, they kept the crowd energized even after nearly 7 hours of being in the Key. Lead singer, Thomas Mars, also graced the crowd with his signature crowd surf AND threw his mic into the audience at the end of the set… guitar picks and drumsticks? Yes. But throwing out your mic? This might have been a first! SO rock n’ roll, I can’t even.

Vampire Weekend #IvyLeagueIndie
Closing out the night with a bang was Vampire Weekend! The thing I love most about this band is that NO ONE sounds like them, being so distinguishable in the music industry is a hard thing to do and these guys do it well. Once you hear their signature surf-y guitar tones, organ riffs, and Ezra’s vocals, you automatically know it’s VW! Their smartly-written tunes (after all, they formed the band whilst studying at Columbia University) are bound to be stuck in your head and make you dance the night away! Can we also just take a minute to appreciate their floral print backdrop?

Hope you all had a blast at #DTHB this year, and if you missed it, there’s always next year!

Peace, Love, & Rock n’ Roll,
A-Tran.

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