Deck the Hall Ball 2011

Last night, Jodus and I did something ghastly: we went into the city on a school night. Scandalous, I know. We usually pride ourselves on being homebodies but it seems like the last couple months, we sure have been busy bodies! Between him going to Texas, my going to Hawaii, both of us going to Phoenix, date nights, trips to Port Townsend, family visits, a Warren Miller show in Seattle, guf. We’ve made up for lost time.

About a month ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she wanted to go to a concert in Seattle and was looking for people to go with. The line up for Deck the Hall Ball looked pretty decent (my eyes were on Death Cab for Cutie) but it was a Wednesday night right after a weekend away. We were pretty hesitant (weeknight, cost, etc.) but ended up saying, “Screw it, let’s do it.” Gotta live a little while we are young, right? So we bought three tickets – for the two of us and my friend, and called it a day. So a couple weeks later, my friend bails. Totally not her fault, she had a work trip come up. To California. Cry me a river. We tried to pawn off her ticket to other friends but apparently everyone else is saner than we are to pay $65 (cheap, IMO, for 7 bands) for a concert on a Wednesday night in the middle of the holiday season.

So here we are, just the two of us, roped into a concert that we were just kind of “meh” on to begin with. Jodus had to take a few hours off of work since the concert started at 4pm over in Seattle. We debated our options (walk across the ferry and bus or cab it to the arena, drive onto the ferry and try to find parking, or drive around the Sound and try to find parking), weighing the different costs and time and convenience factor. It was an ordeal. Many emails were exchanged. We were probably being slightly dramatic about transportation to and from the concert but in our defense, we were also aggravated by an unforeseen and very costly car repair (hello, new clutch!) on husbands car. We ended up driving onto the ferry, boating for an hour, then driving up to Queen Anne (Key Arena for you locals). We arrived at our seats around 4:30 and things still hadn’t gotten started which was fine.

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(Can we not talk about my freshly cut bangs, please? Ugh.)

The first band we saw was Group Love – I’d never heard of them. It was impossible to understand the lyrics but the lead singer had a really interesting voice. Overall, I was uninspired.

(I should mention here that I’m by no means a music connoisseur. If it isn’t on mainstream radio, I probably haven’t heard of it. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate good music or smaller, lesser known bands.)

The second band was Two Door Cinema Club. I really liked a couple of their songs and really didn’t like a couple of their songs but at least they elicited some emotion out of me. They had a lot of energy, maybe a little too much – the lead singer looked like he was having an epileptic fit with the tambourine.

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At this point (6pm), we decided to seek out some dinner. We debated the Arena food or leaving for a restaurant. Huz was in the mood for drinking and I wasn’t in the mood to pay $9 for a shitty beer at the arena so we left. We ended up at Buckley’s for a (not so) quick dinner. It was greasy and delicious and I downed two cosmos and a 5HE. Our dinner excursion ate up over an hour so we missed Young the Giant and Foster the People (major bummer because I know I actually like some of their stuff).

We came in at the start of Cage the Elephant and we were pleasantly surprised. I loved Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked and Shake Me Down. They were high energy and the lead singer was obviously a showman and did a fair share of crowd surfing. Occasionally, his voice was a little grating but overall, I was pretty stoked with the performance.

After a pretty long set change, Death Cab for Cutie made its appearance. This band was the one I was most familiar with and most excited about. And it fell totally flat. I was so disappointed. They were obviously having some technical difficulties but even still, the vocals were very weak and overall, it was a giant snoozefest. Everything sounded kinda the same. I did enjoy Summer Skin and Soul Meets Body but other than that? Um, no. It’s a shame too because we were riding the high from Cage the Elephant and by this time, almost 10pm, we felt like the life was just being sucked out of us. And it was our bedtime. But we toughed it out.

Mumford and Sons came on just after 10pm. I liked them a lot but I must say, it was quite the adjustment going from indie/American rock to a more folk rock. It seemed better suited for an Irish Pub than a large arena. That being said, we really enjoyed them, they were quite harmonious, it was just didn’t seem to quite flow with the rest of the evening. I should have known when they started pulling out fiddles and cellos and had trombones!

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Overall, I give the night a C+. Worth nearly $200 after all costs on a Wednesday night? Not particularly. And we were hurting today, running on only 4 hours of sleep. Oh well, only live once, right?

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3 Responses

  1. We were there last night! 🙂
    I’m so disappointed for you that you missed Young the Giant and Foster the People. They were really the best acts!
    I, too, was originally most excited for Death Cab, but I was getting a bit boozy by the time they came on, and kept focusing on Ben’s divorce beard.

  2. Bummer. 😦 I saw Death Cab live about 8 years ago and they were amazing live. But it was more intimate in an outdoor venue with a hippie feel. Maybe they are better in that type of venue…,

  3. You know I am a HUGE music fan, but I have to admit I am very picky about seeing live concerts. Like you mentioned here, the cost is usually too high and the logistics of it are a headache. Now I try to limit my concerts to $20-30 tickets and small venues. The only time I’ll pay money to see a large act in an arena is if they are LARGE – like the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger knows how to play to thousands of people. Indie bands? Keep that to the bars (and cheaper beer prices)

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