by Inlander Staff

In the inaugural run of this weekly column dedicated to seeking out local live music and attempting to exploit it for the good of all involved (and those not-so-involved), I have decided to take my cue from George W. and issue a "State of the Scene" address.

As the Spokane music scene has waxed and waned over the past decade, there have been many triumphs and at least as many failures. However, at this juncture, it is apparent that there is, in fact, a scene. Certainly, it's alive. For example, a random sampling on a given February evening produced the following: Spokane's biggest-drawing live act, Five Foot Thick at Real Soda, a hip-hop show at Sole and finally, a little somethin' for all the super freaks, a special event at Fat Tuesday's featuring 2 Live Crew.

Things are definitely looking up.

I decided to take in some atmosphere at Real Soda on Saturday to test the theory of the "Scene." As the brisk 30-degree air of another winter night in Spokane hung heavy around me, I proceeded to seedy East Sprague and the anomaly that is Club Real Soda. I was pleasantly greeted by a packed parking lot and the rocking sounds of Five Foot Thick clearly audible all the way out to the street.

Once inside, it was painfully evident that I should have brought earplugs. The show raged on with impressive stage lighting, the real live rocking and rolling of FFT, and enough kids to satisfy the likes of Michael Jackson. The warehouse had wall-to-wall fans (still more evidence of this supposed scene). FFT decided to change things up a bit about midway through their performance as the band graciously shared the stage with Myles Kennedy of the Mayfield Four while plying "Ducked Out," a song Kennedy is featured on from the group's latest album, Blood Puddles.

It was a perfect illustration of an attitude that fosters a scene. Support and camaraderie among musicians regardless of genre are key to the survival of all parties involved. I believe the show represented a microcosm of what the scene can achieve. I also believe that Real Soda cannot handle another FFT show -- I'm talking structurally. The walls literally shook like a modern-day Jericho.

As my address comes to an end, I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank officer #374 of the Washington State Patrol. Without the $86 traffic infraction I received on the way home from Real Soda for allegedly failing to stop at a red light, I may not have been able to make my word count for this column. Thanks again. I appreciate it.

Watch our music section every week as Clint Burgess and other Inlander scenesters check out the local nightlife in "On the Scene."

Publication date: 02/06/03

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