Thunderpussy: New Year, New Beginnings

Thunderpussy at The Showbox (Photo by Abby Williamson)

It may be 2019, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back fondly on the raging party Thunderpussy threw on New Year’s Eve. With the bliss, though, comes some sadness. Since the band’s performance at The Showbox on NYE, the group has announced that their beloved drummer, Ruby, is parting ways with the band to seek new endeavors. The split seems amicable, and Thunderpussy posted to their official Instagram page with the announcement. Their statement can be found below:

“We are a mere two weeks into 2019 and already it has proven to be year of transition and change. Today, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the departure of our beloved Ruby Dunphy, aka, The Kid, aka, Young Gunphy, aka, The Great American Scream Machine (or, G.A.S.M. for short) from the ranks of Thunderpussy. The Kid has chosen to spread her wings and fly, to pursue other projects, and to further her musical education and journey, but she will always be a member of the TP family. This will in no way derail the Thunderpussy train! The search for a new drummer is merely a stop along the way to complete and total rock n’ roll world domination! We are nervous, but also excited to see what the future holds and who might join our future ranks. In the meantime, the writing, recording, and touring will continue as always. Thank you all so much for your continued love and support!!! We love you Ruby!”

With that said, let’s take a look at their NYE performance. The opening act of the night was Seattle-based rock outfit The Black Tones. When they came out on stage, the all three musicians stripped to their underwear and performed their entire set in their briefs. During their set, they invited their friend Shaina Shepherd of BEARAXE to the stage to perform a song with them. BEARAXE is another group local to Seattle. Shaina is a fantastic performer and helped make the band’s set even more memorable.

The next group to hit the stage was Red Fang – a Portland-based rock quartet. Being from Portland, which is relatively close to Seattle, Red Fang had a large number of fans at the show who enthusiastically moshed throughout the band’s set. The band has been around for almost 15 years so they had plenty of hits to draw from. They were a great band to amp up the crowd right before Thunderpussy hit the stage.

After Red Fang’s set was over, it was finally time for Thunderpussy to make their appearance. Instead of starting out with a bang, the band opted to go with a slow burn. The stage was foggy, with just a bit of backlighting behind Molly as she crooned into the microphone. Just as last year, the venue set up a catwalk off the stage that went right into the audience. The band made sure to make good use of the catwalk and on many occasions got close and personal with the fans who were pressed up against it. All of the members have a great stage presence, but Molly Sides and Whitney Petty have an electric chemistry that is palpable from across the room. It’s a pleasure to watch them interact with each other during the set.

Sides took a moment to pause and remind fans about ‘Save The Showbox’ – which is the effort Seattlites and activists to protect The Showbox from urban development. More information about the project can be found on Historic Seattle’s website. Near the end of their set, Sides paused to introduce a good friend of hers to sing alongside her. To the pleasant surprise of many, the singer/songwriter Mary Lambert came out on stage to help sing “The Cloud.” Lambert rose to stardom after she and Macklemore collaborated on his hit single, “Same Love.”

At the stroke of midnight, champagne bottles were popped and streamers exploded from the ceiling. The crowd clamored to the catwalk to grab a gulp of champagne poured by the band members. There was excitement in the air as everyone in the venue celebrated the arrival of a new year. After a moment of celebration, the band went right back into performing some of their biggest hits. They “ended” their set with “Utero Tango” and walked off stage. After a few moments of cheering from the audience, the band came back out on stage to perform two more songs. The first encore song was once performed by the one and only Aretha Franklin – “Respect.” Dancers and some additional guests got up on stage to dance and sing with Molly and co. The band then closed the night out with an ecstatic rendition of their single “Velvet Noose.”

Thunderpussy is easily one of the best live bands in Seattle right now. The next time they roll into a city near you, be sure to check them out. Their energy and stage presence make for a wonderful experience. We look forward to seeing who their new drummer will be.

Kriston began her writing career as a passionate music fan. She attended dozens of shows, purchased CDs, vinyl and even cassette tapes of artists she barely even heard of. Shortly after joining a band's street team she happened to meet blogger Jacob Tender (now with Alternative Press) who asked her to write for his blog. After a couple of months he joined the staff of Under The Gun Review, and brought her along for the ride. After spending four years as a major contributor to the publication she moved on to be a web content contributor for New Noise Magazine, whose print magazines have a national reach.