December 05, 2013

Deck the Hall Ball 2013

I was lucky enough to get floor tickets to an annual holiday concert in Seattle, 107.7 The End’s Deck the Hall Ball. Now, I was not too crazy about the lineup after Tame Impala canceled their performance, but knowing Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend would all be making an appearance kept it extremely appealing.

Getting close to the stage was pretty important, just because I wanted a good view of Phoenix and Vampire Weekend, the two bands I was extra excited about. We arrived around 2:00 pm when the doors opened and spent the following nine hours on our feet watching band after band lead up to these performances.

The lineup went as follows: Chvrches, Foals, Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, Alt-J, The Head and the Heart, Phoenix, and Vampire Weekend.

All of the bands were good and I gained a lot of respect for Chvrches, as I had never paid much attention to them before. I was also surprised at how entertaining Lorde was with her crazy, almost possessed-like dance moves.

Phoenix was one of the best for sure. They started off by announcing there was a little difficulty and that they would improvise, and to the whole crowd’s pleasure, Thomas Mars made his way into the audience and sang a very intimate first song, reaching out to and smiling at the crowd.

This was my first time seeing Phoenix live and it really exceeded my expectations. For some reason I didn’t imagine them as such an interactive, sweet band but their greatness really shined through. Near the end of their set, during “1901” with the crowd going crazy, Thomas again made his way into the crowd. This time he went for a full surf through the audience, who kindly and eagerly passed him around. He was raised by some audience members and happily pointed around the huge Key Arena, thanking everyone in all the seats and the crowd.

After seeing Phoenix everyone in the crowd was exhausted, following many hours of non-stop standing. However the anticipation for Vampire Weekend to come out kept everyone going. When the band came out on stage, everyone went wild.

Ezra was such a charmer, and the set was amazing. They started off with “Diane Young” which just set the mood for the rest of the time, with what seemed like every single person yelling the lyrics. The band played many of their hits, including “Holiday”, “A-Punk”, and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, along with new songs from their album Modern Vampires of the City, released in May of this year. They ended the set with the song “Walcott” from their 2008 debut album.

The band is amazing live, with their sounds so concise and fun it was a really great show. Chris Baio, the bassist, was full of great dance moves and threw his pick into the crowd at the end.

Photos: Macey Wolfer

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