The Weekend’s Top Concerts

Shabazz Palaces and TheeSatisfaction, PUSA, the Decemberists, and more.

By Seattle Met Staff February 17, 2011

Seattle’s peaches-lovin’ alt rockers Presidents of the United States of America take over Showbox at the Market Feb 18-20.

Since half of these shows are sold out, it didn’t seem quite fair to just tell you about them. Instead, Seattle Met writers and editors weigh with their favorite band moments, taking you inside a (fairly) typical concert.

Shabazz Palaces and TheeSatisfaction
Feb 17
Neumos (tickets on sale $17)

From Style editor Laura Cassidy: Like an Afro-centric psychedelic art fair fashion show with the best soundtrack ever, this double-header of the most talked-about, vibed-on hip-hop from Seattle (yes, Seattle) will likely include weather-defying booty shorts, rad batik prints and men in Olsen-twin-esque kaftans. That’s all in addition to fuzzed-bass beats, hypnotic tribal drum patterns, hook-heavy melody lines, and stylish spit-fire rhymes that deftly bounce, like so many heads in the crowd, around subject matter so that the idea of a “political party” takes on a totally new meaning.

The Decemberists
Feb 18
Paramount Theatre (sold out)

From intern Clancey Denis: Once I saw a drunk audience member throw his dirty sock at lead singer Colin Meloy and the band stopped mid-song to sing “Happy Birthday” to the guy’s girlfriend. And then, worried that he would have to walk home sock-less, they returned it to him. The niceness does fade sometimes…like when Chris Funk dresses up as a giant whale and tries to “eat” the audience.

From senior editor James Ross Gardner: When the Decemberists played Marymoor Park in July 2009 they did their whole neo-sea shanty routine, of course, but they also blew the crowd’s collective Northwest music-loving mind when, as the encore finale, they lurched into Heart’s “Crazy on You.” Thing is, it wasn’t an ironic rendition. There was no knowing wink; no “Look at us play this 1970s Top 40 tune by these Seattle has-beens.” It was the most reverential cover imaginable. It was also the most rocking tune the Decemberists played all night.

Presidents of the United States of America
Feb 18-20
Showbox at the Market (sold out)

From art director Ben Purvis: I saw lead singer Chris Ballew playing acoustic guitar at the Ballard farmers market last summer, and chatted with him for a minute. He told me that he married his wife onstage at a Showbox show earlier that year. That’s the kind of guy he is.

Seattle Rock Orchestra plays Radiohead
Feb 19
Moore Theatre (tickets on sale $18)

From intern Tiffany Wan: Orchestra founder Scott Teske insists they’ve gotten so good at covers, the band could “probably take a pseudonym and play the casino circuit.”

From arts editor Laura Dannen: They’ve covered Bowie, the Beach Boys, Arcade Fire. I’m waiting to hear them try Lady Gaga.

For this show, Seattle’s coolest orchestra reworks Radiohead’s The Bends and OK Computer, with Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard and Jon Auer of the Posies joining.

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