For those of you still riding high from seeing Macklemore last month in Spokane, here's a chance to amplify that feeling. The beginning of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' fall tour documentary starts right here in downtown Spokane. Check it out.
I’ve wanted to see Nine Inch Nails since I was 15 years old, when my cool goth older brother and his beautiful goth girlfriend came back from seeing Trent and Co. at Portland’s Rose Garden with a T-shirt so obscene that my parents — who literally forbid us from nothing as kids — told him he could never wear it. My brother told me it was the loudest concert he had ever been to.
So, flash forward 17 years: I’ve had plenty of opportunity to see Nine Inch Nails, but never have. And after last night I have never regretted past decisions I’ve made so much.
First, let me back up: It has been ages since I’ve seen a concert in an Arena setting. And inside my head, I had pictured all of these secret Spokane industrial/goth people in platform boots and trench coats and latex pants would crawl out of their underground lairs for the show. Yeah, that didn’t happen. My seats were surrounded by a group of people in Montana football sweatshirts who acted like they’d be tailgating for hours, and who emanated that special odor of whiskey mixing with stomach acid. I was surprised to see the number of people carrying giant bags of cotton candy to their seats. AND I was also cracking up at the number of people wearing Nine Inch Nails shirts to the show. Is that not a faux pas anymore?
Before Nine Inch Nails took to the stage, Austin's instrumental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky played first. I’m a massive fan of instrumental music — especially when it’s loud — but I’ve never been a huge fan of EitS, and last night certainly didn’t convert me. Shrouded in a canopy of blue and red lights, the band did what they do, jammed. They’re really a perfect band for movie and TV soundtracks (which they did masterfully with the Friday Night Lights). And it takes a lot for me to say this, but I’d really rather watch scenes of football players slamming their skulls together with this music in the background than to have to watch Explosions in the Sky play live again. I’ll hand it to them: their set was short and sweet and delivered without any BS fanfare. They did their thing and made way for Nine Inch Nails.
OK, so here’s where I want to amend something I said earlier this week in my preview piece of this show. First, I think I should apologize to Trent Reznor for calling him “Mr. Happy” (or, at least that’s what the headline of my story called him). I think it oversimplifies what sort of progress he’s made with Nine Inch Nails, and especially with the new album Hesitation Marks. It’s a great album, and it does sound good on headphones. But it’s almost like you need to hear it performed live in order to really understand the impact, power and mastery behind it. It’s like the difference between watching the Food Network and hearing people describe how food tastes, and actually eating it yourself. Completely different experience.
To say that Trent Reznor makes an entrance on stage is understating things. As his band played the first notes of “Copy of A," Reznor marched out of a thick cloud of fog and up to the mic, and was met with an arena full of screams. He was tinier than I thought he would be, and he had some kind of weird parachute pant thing happening that definitely didn’t make him look any taller.
In fact, nearly everything was different about Reznor than I had thought. I’ve seen videos of him verbally destroying idiot audience members and trashing his instruments. But his onstage persona has shifted. Last night he was The Hulk: hunching over the mic, backing up to do this muscle-y sort of man-dance. He was absolutely serious about every single one of these songs, like presenting them to an audience is an emotionally taxing experience. At times he’d back away from the mic and bury his face in his hands, or even stare up into the lights. It was as if he was even glad to get all of this off his chest and show us the inside of his heart.
For the next couple of hours, the band played 24 songs. Twenty four! These aren’t short, easy songs either, guys. These are long, emotion-packed songs. The band played literally everything (well, except “Closer” — which I was happy to not hear live amongst the boozy football people I was sitting by): more than half of the songs from Hesitation Marks, “Head Like a Hole,” “Terrible Lie,” “Sanctified” from Pretty Hate Machine, “Piggy,” “March of the Pigs,” “A Warm Place” from The Downward Spiral. There were tracks from The Fragile, even a nod to Year Zero.
And while everything about the band’s sound was on-the-nuts perfect, Nine Inch Nails transports their audience with an out-of-this-universe light show unlike anything I have ever seen. I felt like I was in a goddamn spaceship. I could describe this experience further for you, but then that would sort of feel like my Food Network reference above. All you need to know is this: whatever money you think you don’t have to spend on Nine Inch Nails tickets, you do — if for the light show alone.
During the band’s performance of “Head Like a Hole,” Reznor looked out over the crowd as he sang “Bow down before the one you serve…” and raised his hands high above his head. The entire Arena crowd, bathed in bright white lights, was absolute putty in his hands. Including me. I’m glad I waited a long time to see Nine Inch Nails. Otherwise, any younger, any more immature, I think I might have just cried tears of joy through the entire show.
Karli and Caleb Ingersoll are now well acquainted with the feeling of disappointment after things just don’t come together.
Last weekend, their yet-to-be-open-venue, the Bartlett’s grand opening bash was completely canceled. Today, it was announced Saturday’s Marshall McLean Band CD release party is being moved next door to nYne, making the show all-ages no longer.
Indeed, the Sprague Avenue space did not come through.
According to Karli, the reason the Ingersolls only made the decision to move McLean’s show last night was because they wanted to be optimistic.
“We don’t like to appear flakey,” Karli says. “We will open, there’s no way it won’t open. I mean, the space is complete it’s just a matter of the last pieces.”
Those final steps include paperwork and inspections from the city along with contractor work. Karli says until these things are finished, there isn’t a definitive date when the Bartlett will open.
Tuesday’s Blitzen Trapper show will also be moved to nYne, but all other shows are on hiatus until the Bartlett can officially get the permits necessary to open.
Karli was thankful to nYne for absorbing some shows — including multiple soft opening shows in October — and also the countless volunteers who have come through to help move the Bartlett along to where it is now.
“It will be worth it when it opens ‘cause the space looks kick-ass,” Karli says. “It’s just a shame these shows are becoming casualties.”
There looks to be no way around it, snow is coming. Ugh! (Check out my suggestions for getting through it here). But as no one likes a complainer, the best thing to do here is buck up and go check out some awesome local shows, and probably get some $2 pints.
Ready for some blue-collar hip-hop that’s ready “to bring the thunder” tonight? The Quality Control Tour feat, OverTime, Illest Uminati and many more take on Carr’s Corner at 9 pm.
Wear your finest flannel shirt to this band’s show Friday night at Jones Radiator. Peddling their new album, The Flannel Attractions bring a piece of Wyoming with them wherever they go. For all those sick of banjo-touting folk acts, this group seems to be coming from an unfabricated space.
The Bartlett is opening. As of today it is opening.
At that show Northwest Americana rock artist Marshall McLean and his band will release his brand new album Glossolalia and Mama Doll and Bart Budwig will open. Get your tickets early and pay $10, otherwise its $12. Starts at 8 pm.
UPDATE: As of yesterday, when this blog was posted, the Bartlett was opening. Today, Friday, the show has been moved next door to nYne.
Further down Sprague that same evening, Jones Radiator will be celebrating its third year in business. What better way to celebrate than by bringing in DJ Lydell for a ‘80s Dance Party? Exactly.
Also, don't forget Morgan Page is bringing his EDM show to the Knitting Factory this evening as well.
The small, barely-known band Nine Inch Nails will be “nailing” the Spokane Arena Tuesday night. Watch out, front-man Trent Reznor may even smile while he’s there. Explosions in the Sky will open for the rock act. The Checkerboard Bar will be hosting an after party with Black Lodge as soon as that show gets out.
Things get classy out at Chateau Rive with singer-songwriter Keller Williams Wednesday. A former collaborator with the String Cheese Incident, Williams brings along his jam-band style and probably some new tunes from his upcoming album. The show is $20 and starts at 9 pm.
On this exceedingly wet day, we give pause to remember the best song about rain ever written, besides Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean”, of course. (Play video below and listen while scrolling through the page).
Tonight, was supposed to be the start of the Bartlett’s grand opening weekend. But no matter, there’s much more music to be had.
In a last minute FREE show at Boots Bakery tonight at 7pm, the Feral Anthem (formerly Citizen Arms) is back in Spokane to lay some rock down on the scene. Jacob Jones, of Inlander newswriter fame, will open with his singer-songwriter tunes. It shouldn’t last later than 9:30 pm. Perfect for the old folks among us.
In the beginning, Cloud Person was just one. Pete Jordan started the now-six-piece outfit as a solo project. But soon he needed a violin and standup bass to fill out his acoustic guitar sound, then drums and keys. The Seattle band’s sound reminds thoroughly of Neutral Milk Hotel. And, just like NMH was, and is, Jeff Mangum’s band, Cloud Person is Jordan’s project — as seen on the new album Monochrome Places that was entirely mixed, recorded and written by him. Basically, it’s his cloud, he’s just inviting others to come and sit on it with him. Friday, Cloud Person with & Yet, Strangled Darlings and Tyler Aker will take on Mootsy’s at 9 pm. Cost is $5.
Also note KYRS is celebrating 10 years on local radio waves with the help of Son Dulce. Tickets are $15-20 and kids under 12 are free.
“I’m with the banned.” Get it? Ha. This cleverly named show, which will begin as a conversation of censorship and punk music coinciding with the release of the 2013 Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Liberty Annual at 7 pm, will be at Merlyn’s Saturday. After the panel discussion, rockers 66beat, Rice Queen and Bloody Gloves will take over.
The Bettys and Good Night Venues play Jones Radiator
The Bad Lovers (out of Austin), BBBBandits and DJ Case will be at Baby Bar
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Spokane Community College is hosting the annual Fall Folk Festival. All sorts of folks are coming out for this one (went there, yes). The event features eight stages over two days. For anyone especially into bluegrass, this is the place for you.
After much hype, The Bartlett’s grand opening weekend has been postponed due to extenuating circumstance. The event that was supposed to host such artists as Blouse, Typhoon, Terrible Buttons, Cave Singers and many more Thursday through Sunday has been moved to January.
While the owners of the all-ages venue, Karli and Caleb Ingersoll, feared this might happen, in the past week it had really seemed to the pair that things were falling into place to make the celebration weekend a reality.
Here’s what the owners said in a statement posted on the Bartlett’s website this morning:
“Due to some unfortunate circumstances we are forced to postponed our scheduled grand opening weekend. We have worked so hard to avoid this worst-case scenario, but many things are out of our control. Hard work, planning and lots of volunteers has put us right on the edge of opening, but a few big things linger which are keeping us from final inspections and occupancy permitting.”
According to Karli, the shows already on the schedule in the coming weeks, such as the Marshall McLean CD release party on Nov. 16 and Blitzen Trapper on Nov. 19 will still happen.
UPDATE: Indiegogo ticket holders will be able to use those for the four shows in January, Karli says, everyone else will have their tickets refunded. Note, the same lineups can’t be promised due to scheduling.
Perhaps you’re old and need an entire weekend to recover from Thursday night’s Halloween festivities. Hopefully, though, that’s not the case and you want to check out live music this weekend!
As Leah Sottile pointed out this week, Magic Castles and Mirror Mirror are taking over Jones Radiator tonight at 9 pm at a free show. Magic Castles make simple, deliberate rock music — never too technical or reliant on effects to make their point. Left to their own devices, they construct a timeless, hypnotizing sound, both sweet and completely drugged-out all at once. Hell, we kind of wish all rock music sounded like this.
nYne also has ssssnake, Half Zodiac, Hey! is for Horses at 9 pm for $5.
Martha’s Revenge is “the Northwest’s premier Accüsed tribute band.” That’s right, the band full of original members of Accüsed, a punk heavy metal '80s outfit from Seattle, formed a tribute band of the group they used to play in. Wow. Martha’s Revenge, along with Toe Tag, Rutah, American Wrecking Company and Rasputin, demolish Carr’s Corner for $6 Saturday.
Also Bullet Proof Tattoo is having a Rock Against ALS benefit featuring Moral Cruz, Deaddones USA, Lobster Jaw and the Sissies.
Colorado’s indie rock duo Scatter Gather has crazy creative music videos. They play a free show at the Baby Bar Sunday at 9 pm.
Seattle-based all-girl band Chastity Belt may sing a lot about vaginas but they take music seriously as well. They play with Pony Time, Bloody Gloves and Bad Mood at Baby Bar Monday. The show is free.
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