Last Night Rock Lottery @ Neumo’s
posted by July 17 at 8:19 AMon
Reporting and photo of John Ackerman by Sam Machkovech.
Halfway through the fourth band’s set at this year’s Rock Lottery, the tall guy behind me decided that this concert, of all concerts, needed his opinion. “I can’t believe so many people are pretending to like this!” The girl next to him shrugged; one song later, she too began (to pretend?) to like the truly stupid antics of Mantastic, dancing herself dizzy to an ode to Mexican beer.
Tall Guy: If you understood the point—25 musicians forced into five hodgepodge bands only 12 hours earlier—you wouldn’t have had to fake it. A few things are a given at the Seattle Rock Lottery, now in its third year: some disasters, some successes, and at least one member of Harvey Danger. But the unknown and unexpected are the point of this thing, and even if it meant that band number four would play a synth-freakout-meets-white-rap song, so be it.
This iteration of the Lottery was low on the wild fuck-ups and memorable chaos that make it so famous in its hometown of Denton, Texas. That’s not to say Seattle’s third Lotto sucked—if anything, it might’ve been too good. Opening act Osama Bin Lottery saw “Awesome” ringleader John Ackermann transform into a funk-rock ringleader, pointing at all members to tell them when to get on top and when to shaboogie-bop. Against all odds, white funk prevailed thanks to sharp pop touches from the other members’ varied backgrounds.
Mixed pollination was the main success story of the night, particularly when Damien Jurado fulfilled “a childhood dream” and screamed his way through a bulging, synth-bass thumper as lead howler for the Federline Conspiracy. And though Choklate saved her weak band with the rock side of her diva prowess, the best set belonged to closers the Most Popular Girl In School. Thank Lashes bassist Nate Mooter for that one. With jheri-mullet-chop locks flopping about, Mooter led his band’s Caribbean-twee-pop set (only at Rock Lottery, folks) with balls-out fearlessness.
How’d I know theirs was the best set? Tall Guy couldn’t stop cheering.