Sometimes a Tuesday is just a Tuesday, well, last Tuesday, December 8, was something a little bit special. My girlfriend and I made our way to the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle to catch Smoke Season in concert at the High Dive.
The High Dive as a music venue is very intimate, featuring a small stage with a few tables and bar stools along the length of a beautiful curved bar. It really is set up for smaller shows and probably holds at capacity maybe 150 to 200 people. While we were a bit early for the 9PM start of the show, which also featured Silver Torches and The Peach Kings, we had a little bit of time to grab a drink and a bite to eat.
We actually made it early enough that we caught a bit of the sound check for both Smoke Season and Silver Torches, which by the sound of it, was going to be a great night of music. Interestingly enough, the scheduled time for the opener, Silver Torches, was 9PM, but they went on around 8:30PM, which was a bit of a surprise.
So I scurried from my seat to the stage to get a closer listen to Silver Torches, lead by singer/songwriter and Spokane-native, Erik Walters. He started off with a tender acoustic song that paved the way for a set that demonstrated wonderful, yet powerful, vocal control. Like the song “Cal” which is reminiscent of a stripped down version of Don Henley‘s “Boys of Summer.” Once the full band started in, the set progressively became stronger.
After the set, there was a bit of a break, so I took a moment to go up to Erik Walters and introduce myself to express my appreciation for such a great opening set. It was a great tone setter. Honestly, that’s probably one of the best things about such small venues. The artists are almost always just walking around the bar after they play (and you will probably be seeing a bit more from Silver Torches in the magazine at a later date too).
After a short intermission, it was time for Smoke Season to take the stage. This was the band that I had been anticipating for the previous week after listening to their most recent single, “Loose.” Frankly, of the entire Lemonade staff, I was the last one on board the Smoke Season train, but their performance at High Dive solidified them as someone to watch.
The California duo, consistent of Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen, are all about the vibe. Their songs are full of soul and electro-pop beats that would make Zedd jealous. The haunting and ethereal voice of Wortman perfectly matches the blues-infused guitar riffs that Rosen manufactures. There was never a dull or a down moment throughout the set with Wortman all over the stage belting out every song and hammering on the keyboard while Rosen was jamming right along. Smoke Season did not disappoint. They were better than advertised. It just seemed so easy for them.
As a lot of you know, there are few bands that Editor Brandon Enyeart, Head Writer Wyndi May and I all agree on. The relatively short list features names like, Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors, Lights, and Ellie Goulding. Smoke Season can now be added to that list which is pretty amazing to say the least!
The Peach Kings were the final act of the evening having followed Silver Torches and Smoke Season. If there was ever a bit of a wake up call, The Peach Kings were it. They dove right into a heavy rock track that certainly got everyone’s attention.
The blues-influenced rock rhythms of guitarist Steven Dies were accompanied and matched wonderfully by vocalist Paige Wood. With the powerful and identifiable themes of their own love story, The Peach Kings rocked the stage with raw emotion. In reality though, the stage at the High Dive was probably a little too small to contain their energy and sound. Personally, I feel like a larger venue would have suited them better. Overall, The Peach Kings put on a fantastic show that was a brilliant cap to a great evening of music.
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