Local favorites The Cave Singers ended their 31-date tour with Philly grunge-gaze outfit Bleeding Rainbow at Seattle’s own Showbox at the Market, and the welcome couldn’t have been much warmer. After the openers’ finished their set by unceremoniously dropping their feedbacking guitars, a slightly too long set break featured a way too drunk, 40-something bro harassing some barely-21 females until his thirst for more booze-fuel saw him vacate the region. Then, The Cave Singers hit the stage.
For those unfamiliar, these guys hail from past careers in local legends The Murder City Devils, as well as The Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves, but like much of the city, have made the switch to bearded folk-music – a thread they inadvertently tapped on the opener, a woodsy, ambient jam powered by flute (played by new bassist Morgan Henderson), before morphing it into Naomi‘s lead single “Northern Lights.” Pete Quirk’s lyrics about wisdom imparted under the arctic phenomena from a fisherman attracted a loving gaze from the front-and-center crew, particularly the ones who caught the bus home to the seafood-centric Ballard neighborhood afterwards.
Later, Quirk’s harmonica solo and Marty Lund’s semi-Reggaeton groove on “Shine” elicited more than cheers, as newly-legalized cannabis smoke clouds filled the air of the indoor (and supposedly smoke-free) club. Either the beat or the weed got the concertgoers bouncing, but it soon became clear that the Saturday night audience really wanted. The following blues-rock hits old and new (“Black Leaf” and “It’s a Crime“) started the dance party, catching even devoted fans off guard by their newly-bolstered, full-band sound with Henderson’s addition.
Though the boys gave the audience a chance to mingle over droning minimalist jams with the same aplomb. Settled in with a captive audience after the barn-burner teases, Quirk was ready to unleash Naomi‘s theme of redemption and growth through the Rusted Root-ed groove of “Canopy:” [LISTEN]
Canopy, burning gold
I’ll make peace on my own
Canopy, what is foretold
Up in the sky, flowers are gold
Still, the boys weren’t clueless to the audience’s polite applause – we wanted the “too-drunk-to-get-home” recklessness of the blues burners, and they gave it to us again at the end. As Quirk “rode out his Red Bull high with some visuals,” the final encore “No Prosecution If We Bail” sounded absolutely massive with the full-band setup, yet maintained the tightness of their earlier acoustic trio work. Their face-melting impressed far more than the introspective jams that night. A whole show “turned up to 11″ may get boring, but the same goes for 90 minutes of forest nymph lullabies. Luckily, The Cave Singers can do both.