Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Three Imaginary Girls-hosted "Top of the Croc" concert at, where else, the newly renovated Crocodile Cafe. The 'Girls' treated us to the likes of BOAT, Tullycraft, "Awesome" and iji. Having never attended a Croc show in any of its incarnations, it was an experience in-and-of itself just to walk in the doors. At 23-years-old, I felt like a youngin'. Self-consciously I felt like an inexperienced Seattle-ite and concert-goer. In the back of my head I knew I had never seen the rise and demise of the grunge scene first hand, something I was positive was engrained in most these attendees; I couldn't quite help but feel like a phoney amongst these weathered vets.
Thanks to some poor parking decisions, I arrived too late to catch the "up-and-coming" opener, iji. So, BOAT was just getting on as I stepped in and I was pleasantly suprised at what I heard: a fresh band with a definitely distinctive "Seattle sound". Their manic clean guitar and poppy structuring fits perfect in between the Long Winters and the Red Stars Theory. Though lyrically they seemed to lack depth, their ear-to-the-Seattle-sound-ground mentalities made them all the worthwhile. BOAT is charming, but still has some way to go in defining themselves beyond the hundreds of other 20-somethings raised on early Modest Mouse albums. That quirky aura they have to them is enough for now, but I hope to see bigger and better things from these guys in the months and years to come.
Tullycraft was something cut from a completely different fabric altogether, paralleling Camera Obscura, the Lucksmiths, and Belle & Sebastian with a little doo-wop twist. Overall, the band ran a tighter ship than BOAT (pun intended), feeling a little more at ease, a little more fluid, and a little more rehearsed, though their set began to blend together and lose its sparkle before "this is our last song" was ever announced.
"Awesome" on the other hand is from a completely different world of their own. Their multi-instrumental musings and a frontman with David Byrne-esque mannerisms was both intriguing and abrasive. They teetered on the fine line between 'creative' and 'too much', but wether they were good or not almost seemed irrelevant to the masses as they charmed the crowd with their kooky style.