ECLECTIC ARTS

ECLECTIC ARTS

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

GOATWHORE Bring The Metal To Seattle! 9/14/17



Goatwhore
 
Studio Seven
Seattle, WA
9/14/17
 
Greetings!
 
The mighty Goatwhore were announced as special guests on the latest Venom, Inc, tour - who were out supporting their newest release, "Ave Satanas". 
 
The New Orleans based Goatwhore were a smart addition to the bill as they have a large fan base and it showed on Thursday night at Studio Seven.
 
The merch area of Studio Seven actually had more Goatwhore merch than Venom, Inc merch.  Judging by the Goatwhore shirts and patches on the fans waiting outside the club, I wasn't the only one there to see Ben and the boys create heavy metal havoc onstage.
 
Clad in their trademark black, with leather studded arm and leg bands, the band took the stage and the pit immediately erupted into a maelstrom of bodies slamming in every direction.
 
Someone asked me what kind of metal Goatwhore play and it was actually kind of hard to describe for me.  They are a metal band, with death influences in the vocals at times, and old school Venom and Bathory influences in the guitar playing, but that's on the tip of the iceberg.
 
They are a punishing unit on stage.  Ben has tremendous stage presence and his interaction with the fans only connected them that much more to the band. 
 
Their 45-minute set or so could have been an hour based on the reception the Studio Seven crowd gave them. 
 
Even though most metalheads respect the influence of Venom on nearly every thrash, death, and black metal band that came after them, including Goatwhore, Thursday night, respectfully, actually belonged to the band from Nola.
 
There is no other greater statement than that.  Goatwhore killed!
 
Cheers!
Mark
Eclectic Arts
 
Special Thanks:  Liz for the credentials!  Thank you for always going about your business in the right way.  I sincerely appreciate it!


 






EPICA and LACUNA COIL Ravage Seattle! 9/11/17




Epica

Lacuna Coil

Insomnium

Elantris

 

Showbox at The Market

Seattle, WA

9/11/17

 

Greetings!

 

On the anniversary of 9/11, a package of metal rolled into Seattle that many a fan were eagerly anticipating.  Epica was coming back (having played here in November) with the equally popular Lacuna Coil from Italy, along with the melodic death metal of Insomnium and US symphonic metal horde Elantris.  Booking this at the Showbox was just the icing on the cake.

 

The doors opened at 7pm and the show was already underway when I finally got inside.  I caught a few songs of Elantris' set, with the last song the singer tried to get a pit going, to varying success. 

 

Insomnium turned everything up a notch when they stormed the stage.  The quartet ripped through their 30-minute set of melodic death metal.  The pit erupted and the band was very well received.  I was not overly familiar with their music but left a fan for sure.

 

After a brief changeover, the stage was set for Lacuna Coil.  It was clear that many fans in attendance were there solely for Cristina and the boys.  I saw them ten years ago at El Corazon and was looking forward to seeing how they had grown and evolved in that time.  And evolve they did.

 

The band has been together for 20 years now - and it shows.  They are a seasoned veteran metal act.  The energy went through the roof when they took the stage.  Playing songs from their vast catalog, the crowd couldn't get enough.  They have a book documenting the bands history in the works - most likely with a headlining tour to follow one would guess.  Their almost hour long set seemed cut short.  I believe in other cities they played at least one other song, sometimes two.  The audience clearly wanted more. 

 

After the lights came up and the stage was changed over in twenty minutes, it was time for the headliner.

 

Epica are more than a symphonic metal act.  The fans know this but for the newcomer you really need to listen to their catalog to understand they have many different influences in their music.  The six piece hit the stage and sounded amazing.  A very grandiose soundscape, with Simone's soaring vocals, and the grit of the guitars made for a fantastic audio experience.  Their ninety minute set seemed to rush by.

 

This tour was one of those where the fans really got their money's worth.  Quality bands, in a great venue, made for an excellent night of music!

 

Cheers!

Mark

Eclectic Arts

 

Special Thanks:  Kristin and David for the credentials!




















 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

IBA



IBA

9/15/17

 

Greetings!

 

I am flat out exhausted right now.  This week is when we kick off our fall programs at the "other" job.  I can't begin to describe how much work goes into getting these programs up and running. 

 

I also covered two shows this week when, in reality, I should have planned better/said no so that I could get some rest.  Even though it's Friday night as I type this (not sure how smart this is either), I am not done yet.  I have another program to launch tomorrow and a third show to cover tomorrow night.  Oh, and a family obligation is in there, too.  Go me…

 

I just want to preface my current hazy state of mind right now before I delve into this thing called IBA.

 

This is a random list of thoughts and observations two weeks after AL1CE performed up here in Seattle and Everett.  There is no rhyme or reason to this list other than to give the hardcore reader of Eclectic Arts and/or the hardcore fan of AL1CE some insight into what you may have read, heard, or seen in any of the material I produced while covering the band over Labor Day weekend.

 

Here we go:

 

*I have no idea what Sasha looks like in person without either:  teased hair and sunglasses or teased hair and eye makeup for the stage.  I only realized this after editing the video footage and looking through the various photos I had taken at the shows.  It didn't even dawn on me when I was at the shows.

 

*The end credit scene in the behind the scenes video is the signed drumhead I purchased from the band - with a filter over it.  Someone asked me if that was a sticker - I don't think they looked at it very closely.

 

*The end credit guitar is the keyboard melody from "Looking Glass" played by some guy that lives in Edmonds, WA.  Maybe you know him?  ;o)

*It was a full 2-minute piece that was poorly recorded on my DSLR camera.  When I was listening back to the audio, I decided to just cut it way down to the few seconds you hear in the video before it goes to black.  I figured I already had a background track in part of the video that was my music, I don't need 2 full minutes of me playing guitar on a whim.

 

*The scene from Seattle where all you can see is this dark vertical shot was my footage from my old iPhone with the camera pointed at my beer on the table.  I kept this in the video, as it is the first live anything I heard in person from AL1CE - and I found it silly visually so it had to go in (the original clip was a good 20 seconds longer, though).

 

*Art inspires art.  I've already touched on this but I had an idea way back in 2007 that, because of the inspiration from my time covering AL1CE, I want to make a reality now.  It will involve all three parts of my "three headed monster" (media, photography, music) - so Eclectic Arts, Seattle Next Door, and Incarpathia will finally cross paths after ten years of flirting with each other.  Stay tuned…

 

*The concept of multiple bands that the core members of the band are involved with hit home with my own projects.  Even though mine aren't all music, that similarity crossed my mind a week ago.

 

*I was in the bathroom at Studio Seven the other night and I thought about Scott's photo escapades while on tour.

 

*One of my co-workers left my "other job" today - everyone associated her with pandas (lots of panda stuff in her cubicle).  I wonder if she has a onesie?  I know two people that do.

 

*I had edited the behind the scenes video when the program I was using decided to act up.  I had spent maybe a good 2 hours watching and jotting down notes before actually doing any work with it.  I was probably about 90% done with the whole video when the program crapped out.  I thought I was lucky as I had safety saved it.  Nope.  Lost it all.  So, I had to start all over with that video - I ended up bum rushing through it to get it edited and uploaded.  For someone with video and editing skills, it probably would have taken them only a few hours.  For me it took forever.  But, I'm still happy with how it came out.  It makes me think if I was ever to do something like that again, what shots I would of made sure I got next time, let alone what software I would use.

 

*I bought the band's MP3's that were available last weekend before I started editing the bts video. 

 

*I was glad I had planned ahead to get certain non-band shots in Everett - they came in handy when editing the video. 

 

*If/when the band comes back, I thought about what other places they could play up here that match their style(s) of music.  Neumos down the road from the Highline came to mind.  Capacity is large though so they'd have to be a part of a package that could fill a 600+ place.  Not as keen on the package or festival idea.  Maybe the Sunset in Ballard - holds 200 in the back room.  Kind of hipster but I've covered a lot of music there.

*Now if Alice Underground came - one of the performance art theaters (ahem, there's one in Edmonds) would be a great place to see them.  Actually, all four projects at once could be done there.  Capacity is on the larger side again but if I'm dreaming - it'd be fun to see them in a place with a nice stage, lights, pristine acoustics, etc.

 

*I talked about the band to several people after Labor Day.  You actually couldn't get me to shut up about them.

 

*I covered another show on Tuesday September 5th.  It was hard to go from AL1CE to that show.  Don't get me wrong - I did what I always do which is take every concert credential assignment seriously.  But, as I was there shooting, listening, and taking in the performance, my mind wasn't completely in the game.  For that, I apologize to the other bands on the 5th.  As I said in my show report, I wasn't expecting the long lasting impact of the AL1CE shows (but very glad it happened ….)

 

*As I said above, I covered two shows this week - both excellent.  Symphonic metal and straight up death inspired heavy metal.  I felt out of place at the second show even though I grew up a metalhead.  Why?  I had AL1CE on the brain again Thursday night.  I probably shouldn't have been listening to their music in my car before that gig.

 

*I would love to hear Tash's operatic voice ….

 

*The video footage with my Sony RX100 came out much better than I could have hoped.  I was concerned about the audio but if you watch the bts video, the stuff looks and sounds really good.  It is a pocket-sized camera but deceptively so.  With a 1-inch sensor and a Zeiss lens, that camera can do a lot of damage (in a good way). 

 

*I had a band reach out to me last week about possibly covering their event at the end of this month.  I saw them in 2015 play on a Sunday night to basically no one.  They were in their fashion costumes, very thought out visually, and played a 30 or 40 minute set.  I also conducted a brief email interview back then after seeing them that night (this was before I was doing concert reviews/coverage for EA).  Four ladies from LA that used to call themselves Lex, they are now known as LJ Laboratory.  They are into art, fashion, synth music, etc.  It looks like I'll be there at the W Hotel to not only cover their gig but to speak to them afterward.  They have elements that remind me a little of AL1CE visually (eye makeup in one of their videos as well as their art influence in their work) and a smidge sonically (just that they are a synth based band). 

I've never met any of them so it should be interesting to chat for a bit.

 

*"Save your drink tickets.  I want to do something with them after the tour."

 

*I need to find the right place to display my drumhead.  Right now its sitting on a chair that also has my physical photography portfolio (that needs updating). 

 

*When I see a Rickenbacker bass (Gordon plays one), I think of two people - Lemmy and Cliff Burton.

 

*Whenever I perform music again, either with my duo or possibly solo, I know I'll fiddle around with doing an AL1CE cover. 

 

*The show report stands out now that I've had some time away from it.  I re-read it last night and, aside from a few errors or omissions, I'm very happy with it.  If you're ever bored, go look through the EA site and you'll see that there really aren’t any other entries like that report.  I've done some long reviews (Babymetal and Guns N' Roses come to mind) as well as the interviews with a few craft breweries that were transcriptions of recorded audio but nothing like the AL1CE show report.  J

 

*My mom likes, "Looking Glass".  She told me that last weekend.

 

*What does IBA stand for?

 

Kind regards,

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Black Metal Blasts Into Seattle! Inquisition and UADA Gig Review! 9/5/17


Inquisition

UADA

 

@Studio Seven

 

Seattle, WA

9/5/17

 

Greetings!

 

I had the distinct honor to cover this show last Tuesday evening at Studio Seven.  I saw Inquisition when they were on the Mayhem tour back in February.  UADA have come through Seattle but this would be my first time taking part in their haunted ritual.

 

The show was advertised as 3 touring and 1 local band across every site I follow.  When I walked into Studio Seven, there was actually a 5th band - another local - playing.  If I had known, I would have gotten there earlier to hear all the bands.

 

The other local band, Inquinok, played symphonic black metal.  They were very tight and looked as well as played the part.  Their brand of black metal was in contrast to the touring bands on the bill but I found it very enjoyable.  I'd like to see them again - perhaps with similar black metal bands - in the future.

 

Volahn from California was the first touring band up.  They were rather unique in their sound.  I don't recall seeing too many Fender strats used in black metal bands.  They played like they’ve been at this for a long time however I couldn't find much online about them.  Even their FB page is a fan page.  In any event, they brought the darkness in full force which was a nice set up for the next band.

 

In 2000 or so, there was a site called MP3.com.  They paid their artists based on plays.  At the time, this was unheard of.  So, any amateur (or professional) could upload their music and get paid for their music.  I had my demo project, Incarpathia, up on the site.  There was another band in the black metal (I think that's what it was) category back then from Washington State - Ceremonial Castings. 

 

While we never met, I always remembered any time I searched for black metal bands in Washington state, the two of us showed up.  UADA's vocalist/guitarist Jake is from Ceremonial Castings.  He and I communicated about this very fact months ago - and he remembered Incarpathia.  So, the show Tuesday night was, in some ways, a weird completing of the old Washington State black metal circle for me.

 

UADA have been making waves in the black metal scene for well over a year now.  They have been invited to play some of the most well respected metal festivals around the world, let alone the active touring that they've been doing to support their release, "Devoid Of Light". 

 

The band took the stage amongst their trademark fog and backlit streams of light.  Dressed all in black, with oversized hoods to cover their identities, UADA blistered through their set at Studio Seven.  The band went from strength to strength as their set continued, creating a dark yet inspirational atmosphere (in a black metal vein of course). 

 

One could tell that all of the touring is really paying off, as they are a honed beast on stage.  Comparisons to other black metal bands are out there but to these eyes and ears, UADA are blazing their own path.  MGLA and Dissection come up a lot, especially early on in UADA's career.  But I hear riffage from Maniac Butcher, a bit of the Finnish hordes like Clandestine Blaze, and the wall of sound aspect of early Emperor. 

 

At the end of the day, UADA are the real deal, and I'm extremely proud that such a band has roots right here in the Northwest. 

 

After a brief changeover, the stage was set for the long time black metal duo from Seattle (by way of South America) Inquisition. 

 

How two musicians create such a sound is rather amazing to me.  I remember thinking the same thing in February when I last saw them.  There's a certain vibe that comes from, for lack of a better term, true black metal bands.  There is a truth that comes out when they perform, a vibe that permeates every note that they play.  Inquisition is one of these bands.

 

Their set, that was over an hour long, hit home just how good Inquisition are.  Playing tunes from many parts of their vast back catalog, the crowd ate up every minute of it.  When the lights came on, everyone there at Studio Seven knew they had just been witness to an old guard band of true black metal.

 

When I first got into the scene back in the 90's, it seemed farfetched to me that any of my favorite black metal artists would ever tour, let alone come to Seattle.  I am very thankful that a few bookers, promoters, and the like, have taken a chance on this genre of music in the US.

 

Until the next ritual …

 

Regards,

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

 

Special Thanks:  Jake for the initial credentials.  Next time - we meet in person!  Also, Enrique for his assistance with this show as well.


INQUISITION BANDCAMP


UADA BANDCAMP


 














Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wide Awake in Washington - AL1CE Event Report! 9/1/17 and 9/3/17



AL1CE

Seattle, WA
9/1/17
Highline Bar

Everett, WA
9/3/17
Anchor Pub

As I sit here writing this review of my experience last weekend, I can't help but wonder about what else is out there.  Not in an "aliens stole my brain" sort of way.  I mean a year ago I had no idea that the band AL1CE existed nor did I know about their other bands Alice Underground, BASHROCK, or Mankind Is Obsolete.  A year from now, in September 2018, I wonder what other artist(s) I'll discover that will have a profound impact on my musical being.  These are the sorts of things I think about after an experience like last weekend.

Eclectic Arts started out as nothing.  Not even an idea.  It organically started from an email exchange with a band that I, Mark, was a fan of back in 2010.  That original exchange got the wheels spinning and about six months later the first issue of Eclectic Arts came back from the printer.  What's transpired between that first issue and now, in 2017, is mind boggling to me. 

I love music.  I love creative and artistic minded people.  I draw inspiration from those around me that choose to express themselves in an artistic manner.  It reminds me in the best way possible that I'm not the only one out there that feels like this.  It's comforting and inspiring. 

AL1CE impacted me more than they can possibly know. 

These gifts have been presented to me a few times over the course of Eclectic Arts existence. I remember riding a high for weeks on end after interviewing a certain Academy Award winning "dude" - ditto when I met him before a performance in 2014.  I must have watched every film he had ever been a part of after all of that, with a silly grin on my face every time he came on screen.

I remember standing downstairs after a performance by one of the biggest artists in the music industry - over one hundred million albums sold over her vast career.  She also had a film career to boot - "Grease" was a part of my childhood.  Eight close family and friends were there to catch up with her - and my mom and I.  It was so surreal, a little uncomfortable if I'm being honest, but highly impactful. 

Those are two examples of the larger than life types.  Let's not forget all the up and coming artists and every in between artist as well.  Inspiration comes from all sorts of places for me and I am eternally grateful for each and every opportunity this little media outlet Eclectic Arts has afforded me.

This brings me to my review of AL1CE.  I believe I saw something on social media about this band coming to the Northwest.  I clicked on the event page and was curious.  I then did what I normally do - do a little investigating.  I watched videos out of order (I now know after the fact).  I watched the "Superman" video by Alice Underground.  That was my first introduction to the world of AL1CE.  I then watched "Waking Hour" and then "Looking Glass".  And I'll be honest - I was confused.  Were these the same bands with different names?  Did they start as one and then morph into another band over time?  The music was totally different so that didn't make any sense.  I found more videos of Alice Underground online than I did AL1CE.  I came to the conclusion that Alice Underground must be the main band then and AL1CE was the offshoot.  Yes, that must be it.  Nope.

I recall going back to watch the music videos again and then I looked at the calendar of tour dates.  AL1CE was going to be here in Washington state over Labor Day weekend.  Uh oh.  I tend to view my holiday weekends as times to recharge my batteries.  I wrestled with taking advantage of the time off versus being productive during that time.  This hasn't changed in years.  Part of my mind says don't schedule anything; just enjoy your time off.  Another part of my mind says take advantage of the time to get more projects done, make the most of the time off, etc.

I decided that I should at least contact the band and see if it would be possible to cover one of their two shows, a compromise of my holiday time if you will.  I wasn't sure what the difference was between the Seattle gig and the Everett one (both were promoted differently).  After getting some information back from AL1CE through social media (I would later find out this was from singer Tash), I had gotten off the fence and decided that the Everett gig would be the one for me.

In between days I continued to re-watch their videos and grew more and more interested in their bands.  That’s when the idea popped into my head to not only do an interview with the band but to possibly capture some candid, on the road, footage.  This was a somewhat rare opportunity that a band would be in the same area more than one night.  Tash was open to the idea, which made me really happy.  I started to go into my photography background mode of how should I shoot this, what story am I trying to tell, all sorts of things started rambling through my head.

After much back and forth, I asked if I could cover both the Seattle and Everett shows - and then film some footage in Everett before our interview since that would leave one day where I wasn't bothering the band (which was Saturday the 2nd, their day off).  All was agreed to and I was stoked!

On Friday night, September 1st, I ventured down from my home of Edmonds to Seattle, to the Highline.  I had been there once before, almost exactly a year prior, so I wasn't overly familiar with the place but I did know it. 

I parked and walked a few blocks to the venue.  The curtain was drawn where the stage and floor area was.  A band was sound checking as I sat at a table, passing the time with a beer.  I recognized that it was AL1CE.  They went through a portion of their third single, "Land of Confusion" (Genesis cover).  I grabbed my phone and just recorded the audio since I couldn't see anything with the curtain in the way.  This footage may surface in the band behind the scenes video.  They sounded good and my anticipation grew for their set!

Eventually the curtain was opened around 9pm and the event was officially underway.   I took a look at the merch table - even though AL1CE was on first, their merch was the only one fully set up and on point. 

9:30pm came and I saw the band gather themselves to start their performance.  Hitting the stage as a five piece, Tash (vocals), Sasha (vocals), Scott (guitar/keys), Gordon (bass), and Steve (drums) played an opening set of songs that just amazed me.  They jumped off the page so to speak meaning their seasoned professionalism just hit me in the face and I knew I was in for an inspirational set. 

How does one describe AL1CE?  Live they are a different beast than in the studio.  You could argue that every band is like that but what I mean is that the energy (Tash and Sasha never stop moving) and the variety of influences in their music coupled with the sheer talent of each member just creates this art that is uniquely their own.

It was dark in the Highline (no surprise if you've ever been there) but I did take some photos as well as one video.  These have already been released online via social media and You Tube.

I know I'm painting some broad strokes here but let me just say that their Seattle performance was a deal sealer.  I was all in after watching them perform.  It made me even more excited for the second performance in Everett two days later.

After the Seattle show, I introduced myself to Sasha by the merch table and we spoke about many different things, so many different things that I can't even recount all of them here.  I do remember we talked about the show of course, backgrounds of some of the band came up, self-proclaimed nerds, the concept of egoless art, do now instead of do later, etc. 

With teased hair and the trademark eye makeup that the band wears for live performances, I found Sasha full of energy, ideas, with a healthy dose of genuine appreciation for the folks that support the band.  I have a bit of tinnitus in my right ear so I wear earplugs most of the time at gigs, even when bands aren't playing.  The PA, or in this case the DJ, may be spinning music that is fine for others but too loud for me.  So, trying to have a conversation over a DJ, with earplugs partially put in my ears, is always difficult for me.  No offense to the DJ but I wish they weren't playing that night so I could have had a more meaningful conversation with the band.

I then met Tash.  Smiling, she gave me a hug and thanked me for coming.  It was nice to finally meet her after the back and forth communication leading up to the gigs.  I learned more about the band; their backgrounds, the tour, and I expressed my love of their set that night.  Tash was well-spoken, very warm and accepting, and much like Sasha, very artistic and had a very positive energy. 

I briefly met Scott, Gordon, and Steve as they had come back to join the ladies.  I asked for a quick photo with Tash and Sasha - which we took in the hallway of the bathrooms there at the Highline (better light).  Side note - Scott has been posting entries about the various bathrooms on this tour while Sasha has been posting tour diaries.  Check them both out on  their respective Facebook pages!

I looked through the merch table - bought the AL1CE CD, the limited box of Alice Underground (which is freaking awesome), and an AL1CE tour shirt.  I figured I could always purchase more up in Everett if funds allowed. 

I slipped out after waving goodbye to Tash and headed north to my home of Edmonds.

This really isn't a review is it?  Oh well - show report I suppose is more accurate.  Onward!

I spent part of Saturday trying to figure out what I wanted to ask in the interview in Everett.  Trust me - I had a typed up a ton of questions covering all of their bands.  I went back and forth and decided to focus this interview as much as possible on AL1CE otherwise we would of ended up with a 3-hour interview.  This turned out to be the best move.  I checked my gear - charged batteries, etc. for Sunday's work.

I have three different cameras but only one that I've done my other video interviews with.  Let me state that I am not a videographer.  My editing leaves a lot to be desired.  I've learned from previous interviews that lighting and noise level are two things I have to be more aware of.  One interview was terrible as another band was playing in the background so you couldn't hear the audio.  A few others were in rooms or tour buses that were very dark.  I've since fixed these things (doing interviews when bands aren't playing, I have an external mic and lights now).  However, my last interview had some audio issues due to the wind and lack of a windscreen.  Since there was no green room at the pub in Everett, the wind reared its head again.  The interview still came out ok but it bugs me that I forgot my windscreen to reduce the residual noise from the wind blowing off the water there in Everett.  Live and learn I suppose. 

Where was I?  Oh yes - Sunday meant interview time and gig number two!

Load in for the band was around 4pm that day as they were headlining (first in, last out).  I drove north and as I neared the Anchor Pub, I saw a white van outside with gear on the ground.  I parked and saw Tash and Sasha.  Quick non-sweaty hugs and they were off to get some much-needed caffeine for the band.  During their departure the guys were loading in.  This was when I stated filming a few short behind the scenes clips.  Check out the video on my You Tube channel for the results.

Once the band seemed settled in, I asked when was a good time to do the interview.  Tash said now would be good so she grabbed Sasha and we headed outside.  As mentioned, the video interview with Tash and Sasha was done outside of the pub since there was no green room.  You can also view this on my You Tube channel.

The interview went well at the time.  I'm always critical of my interviews after the fact.  There were other questions I had meant to ask but forgot to.  When I'm solo, I don't keep a note card (or my phone notes) out to see my topics.  When I have an assistant, then it's usually on my lap or out of camera view.  In any event, after the interview, I spoke to Steve and Gordon about many things as they were both sitting outside.  Steve was studying for his exam (he works as an ER doctor (?!) yes, you read that right) while Gordon was reading a book about ancient civilizations that he spoke to me at length about.  I wish I had gotten this on video but there was a car with their engine running behind me.  I didn't think the video would be good with that noise on the audio track so I never had my camera on.  Funny side note is the car was actually the bands van as the ladies were getting ready for the show.  I had spoken to Scott earlier inside the pub as well. 

I tried to stay out of the way as I didn't want to be intrusive.  I really enjoyed my time listening to all of the band members, what they had to say, their unique takes on many different topics, not just music.  This is where the impact of the band as a whole started to seriously take shape for me. 

In the six years of Eclectic Arts, I haven't really spent what I would consider actual time with a band, getting to know them and what they're about.  There's always what's presented to the fans but then there's those other aspects of the band off stage, when they're amongst each other, what they talk about, and personalities that surface, etc.

AL1CE showed that they are not only great artists, but amazing people!  A band that is doing what they love, with people they love and respect.  I was very fortunate to catch a glimpse of this beautiful energy.  It's such a rare thing to find.  I think in some ways the bands generosity made me question many things in my own life.  How powerful is that, folks?  Very.

The Everett show itself was even better than the Seattle show.  AL1CE themselves were stellar - that's a given.  This time the audience, whether fans, friends, or strangers with a bit of alcohol in them, helped raise the energy that was missing from Friday's show. 

The set was also longer (one hour on Sunday compared to 30 minutes or so on Friday) so I got to hear additional songs like "She" and "Looking Glass".  A friend of mine made it out for their set too so I was very glad and thankful he could witness AL1CE with me.

Dancing throughout their set, Tash and Sasha sang their hearts out.  There is such a uniquely positive vibe from them (the whole band,, really) when they're on stage - it's amazing to watch. 

Let me not forget Scott, Gordon, and Steve.  I'm a guitar player so I'm always keenly interested in what the guitarist in any band is doing.  Not in a "let me watch them screw up" sort of way - more like "dang look at that" sort of way. 

Scott split duties between playing his PRS electric and keys during the set with background vocals as well.  I loved hearing him when there were solos - it gave him an opportunity to shine.  And shine he did.

Gordon - bassist - alternated between pick and fingers, along with other electro bass enhancements at his feet.  Always playing what's right for the song - from simple eighth notes - to chords - to melodies high on the fretboard, Gordon added the "oomph" to the bands sound in all the right places.

Steve - drummer/percussion - the backbeat was not kept at a simple 4/4.  I enjoy watching drummers add in creative ways to be the foundation of a song while keeping things different.  The groove is definitely there but Steve at times goes for the road less traveled approach to playing on his DW kit.  It adds an element to AL1CE that brings a richness to their sound.  Great stuff!

After their set, much like déjà vu, I spoke to Sasha again.  I knew I needed, no scratch that, I wanted to support this band more so I sprung for two more CD's to complete music from all four bands, an older AL1CE shirt, and a signed drumhead (that Sasha personalized for me at my request). 

My phone was on its last bit of charge, so I got another photo with Sasha and Tash.  I then went in search of the guys - and there was always one of them missing.  Eventually all three were together so we joined the ladies for a full group photo. 

The band thanked me, Sasha hugged me (and apologized if her leather coat smelled - it didn't Sasha - you were fine), Steve thanked me from the stage and came down and gave me a hug, and Gordon asked for my opinion on some new BASHROCK tracks he's getting ready (I'm getting to those next Gordon, I promise).  I thanked the promoter as he was outside and walked away from the Anchor Pub. 

This concluded my two-event night with AL1CE.

I already wrote about on social media how my experience with AL1CE stayed with me that night after the Everett gig and subsequent days as well.  I wasn't expecting that at all.  I know that during parts of the evening in Everett my energy was starting to wane.  Looking back now I can point to the bands energy and this vibe that I was around with the band earlier that really seeped deep into my psyche and caused me think about my own art, my own creativity, and my own life.  That's damn powerful stuff.  Artistic journey or not, AL1CE took me in and welcomed me into their world.  While it was only a matter of hours each day, it felt like much longer. 

It's a beautiful thing when art and artists can inspire, provoke, and encourage another artist's purpose and vision.  It's even more remarkable when the same artists can be as impactful as human beings.

My life has been changed because of the band known as Al1CE.  I don't know how many times I can say thank you but I'll say it again - thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Please continue to create and inspire.  The world needs more people like you.  And, I, for one, will always be in your corner - at the ready - to join you in all of your future projects and endeavors. 

With love, respect, and admiration,

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts




 
Set Lists:

Seattle:

End of Times
Waiting for You
Wide Awake
Locked Within
Breathe
Land of Confusion (Genesis Cover)

Everett:

End of Times
Waiting for You
Major Tom
Wide Awake
Condemned
Looking Glass
Locked Within
Moonbeams
She
Breathe
Land of Confusion (Genesis Cover)

INTERVIEW with Tash and Sasha!


 Behind the Scenes with AL1CE!


 "Land of Confusion" LIVE in Everett!


"Looking Glass" LIVE in Everett!


"Land of Confusion" LIVE in Seattle!