If the way you spend New Year’s Eve really does set the mood for the rest of the year, I have high hopes for 2019.
The Black Tones opened the night with their bluesy punk rock. The trio sauntered on stage and, within 45 seconds, had stripped down to their underwear. In retrospect, I can’t really think of any other way to play your first-ever Showbox set, but it caught the audience off guard nonetheless. They played a short set that simultaneously left me sonically fulfilled and wanting more ‘Tones. During their song “Welcome Mr. Pink,” audience members who had obviously never heard the band before sang along with minimal coercion from frontwoman Eva Walker. At the end of their set, Walker welcomed her mother and sister on stage just in time to strip off her bra revealing a pair of rainbow star-shaped pasties. The Black Tones’ high-energy, scantily clad set was a perfect way to kick off the evening.
Next up was Portland-based 4-piece rock band Red Fang. The band is nearly a decade and a half old and their fan base is enormous and very dedicated. Hair, hands, bodies, drinks, limbs, and basically everything within reach were all flailing within the entire audience. It almost looked like a cohesive human wave, but less…calm. Like a cohesive human wave swirling in a tsunami.
Whenever I would tell someone about the lineup of this particular show, their reaction was always something along the lines of “…that’s so random…” I’m here to tell you that nothing about this night felt random. Red Fang was the perfect choice to sandwich between The Black Tones and Thunderpussy as their brand of “stoner metal” maintained the high-energy mood set by the opening act.
Thunderpussy was the last to take the stage at the Showbox on Monday and, upon their entrance, the crowd went insane. All of the dancers were dressed in purple outfits and held the attention of every audience member within the sold-out venue with their talent. Lead singer Molly Sides excels in performing and throws in countless back bends and high kicks for emphasis.
The evening, which I have since dubbed “The Best Monday Night I Will Ever Experience,” featured a few guests on stage. Mary Lambert and Eva Walker both came out with the group, Walker for her second time that night, this time for an Aretha Franklin tribute. The stroke of midnight was commemorated in a burst of streamers and with champagne poured from the stage into fans’ mouths. It was an amazing start to the New Year and a really high bar that I’m not sure anyone’s 2019 can maintain.
For the full Photo Gallery click here: https://ballardvox.com/galleries/nye-thunderpussy-red-fang-the-black-tones-the-showbox-at-the-market-12-31-2018/