Thirsty Thursday at The Swiss

It’s been a looooong time since the husband and I found ourselves with nothing to do and nowhere to be on a Thursday evening! (The wedding machine got rolling back in May, followed closely on the heels by the show down in Olympia … we started rehearsals TWO days after the wedding… and in the three weeks since that closed, we’ve had some pressing thing every night it seems.) So, when a friend called to invite us down to The Swiss for a concert, we were all over that. It’s also been a long time since I got to be in the audience and just groove along with the crowd.

We went to hear the Matt Coughlin Band, and caught the last half of Friday Mile’s set too. That was a nice surprise, since I didn’t even know they were playing and hadn’t heard them in a year or so. Their sound has really grabbed onto something cool…. a little ethereal, a little funky, and a great beat that sort of rises and falls. I kept changing my mind whether I wanted to sway and bobble my head around (you know what I’m talking about) or just jump around in endless energetic circles– they have that kind of duality.  Hanna and Jace’s lyrics and harmonies are just the right combo of chill and driven, wending and content to be together… even as heard through the notoriously blown-out/overblown overhead Swiss speakers.

This is the first time I’ve heard all three parts of the Matt Coughlin Band at one time, and I was so excited! They sound so together, and they all look like their having a fantastic time. The three of them have this collaborative knack for taking an audience on tour through a pretty darn impressive array of style, technique, and emotion. Matt pulls you in with that range-cracking moan while Kim pulls its heartbreaking echo out of her violin. Dalton is fascinating to watch as he physically leans, twitches, and rebounds off his drum kit from folky blues to instigate a solid detour into rock country, and then the three of them bring the whole crowd bouncing home with some uber-feel good folk anthem (“the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball”). And that’s just the first ten minutes. They’re just such good storytellers.

I guess we missed the first band, the Black Sails, but the lead guitar, Travis Barker sat in with Matt– really nice blues guitar with a suitably scratchy growl to his cozybluesy singing. Nice guy too.

The only flaws in the evening: 1) Really drunk woman careening around at top speed for a full hour. 2) I got stuck in my double-zippered wool coat and had to borrow pliers from the bar to get me out. Thanks, guys!

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