There was clearly a lot of love in the room at Neumos Friday night, and it was refreshing to witness the support and love given to each artist.
The lovely Maiah Manser kicked off the show with contemporary stylings, which included interesting loops and beats. With so many of today’s hit-makers auto-tuned until they sound like a cartoon, it’s refreshing to hear a female artist with a vocal range full of lush lower tones.
Next up was Seattle favorite, the Seattle Rock Orchestra Quintet who brought beautifully interpreted arrangements to favorite rock hits, opening with a one-two punch with an overture lead-in to Bjork’s “Dancer in the Dark,” followed by “Lisztomania” by Phoenix. Fronted by the stunning Tamara Power-Drutis, who knows how to sell a song with her phrasing and clear, pure vocals. From Bjork to Radio Head to Arcade Fire, two standouts were “Gold Guns Girls,” by Metric, and “Chandelier” by Sia.
The golden moment had arrived, and even though the crowd had been gracious to all the artists, there was clearly a “Sisterhood” out there as they cheered “SISTERS” when the band took the stage. SISTERS is comprised of Andrew Vait and Emily Westman. They’re a band that is hard to define. Their songs are fun and upbeat with sampling and interesting arrangements that are unpredictable, and at times reminiscent of the wonderment of “Magical Mystery Tour” or “Yellow Submarine.” The two have serious musical chops, but they’re playfulness is like a musical romp through a Dr. Seuss story. Big and whimsical, carnival-esque, filled with musical zigs and zags. Vait and Westman are clearly having fun and have a great connection. The single “BUCK” is a standout, as is “Buzzard” from their five-song EP, Diamonds of Gold.
SISTERS announced that they had some surprises in store for the audience. One was a new song that Vait dedicated to a birthday girl in the audience. To her surprise, her boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed. Of course she said “yes” and the love fest continued. But there was still one more surprise. During the song, “Back To You,” backed by the Seattle Rock Quintet, Seattle Rapper SOL, jumped on stage and the crowd swooned and swayed, a sea of arms waving too and fro.
So, how do you top that? With an encore dance party with all the performers joining them on stage.