Remnants of Bumbershoot's prom-themed announcement shows—a collection of seafoam green, baby blue, and yellow balloons and gold and silver glittery stars—were still hanging from the Crocodile's ceiling as Minneapolis' Now Now played on Saturday night. I felt like I was in a scene from a teen movie. Summer had finally arrived in Seattle, the air was perfectly warm, and a majority of the crowd appeared to be more dressed up than your average Friday night showgoer—colorful fashion inspired by blasts of vitamin D. Now Now's tunes, with soft breathy vocals and shimmery guitar (in this week's paper I compare it to the Jealous Sound and Tegan and Sara), sound like a modernized John Hughes soundtrack. I expected a dork in a tuxedo to jump on the stage and confess his love to the prom queen any minute. Alas, the band played on without interruption (but I did see a young couple making out in the back, as would happen in the movies).
The Lonely Forest
Even though it has 800 years (or so) since the Lonely Forest stepped onto a local stage, the Anacortes-based anthemic rock outfit sounded great. After being holed up in the studio, and then playing nearly every night on tour for the past three weeks, the band was one with their songs—I doubt their instruments have been out of their hands much over the past several months, and it showed, as they took on a setlist comprised of more recent stuff mostly from Arrows and their upcoming album Adding Up the Wasted Hours.
While the songs sound pro, unavoidable tour delirium/goofiness took over during the downtime. As singer John Van Deusen tuned his guitar, guitarist Tony Ruland treated us to a medley of cat meows via his cell phone. Apparently it's what the guys listen to when they're out on the road and they miss their cats. And before the band could hit the loud part in the song "Two Pink Pills" Van Deusen stopped due to a crazy case of the sniffles. After roadie Kevin grabbed a Kleenex box from the green room, Ruland helped Van Deusen blow his nose. It's allergy season. Pollenated boogers are everywhere.
While seeing them live for the first time, my date (hi, Robby!) made a connection that I can't believe I've never made in the past—"They kind of sound like if Jeremy Enigk was fronting Death Cab for Cutie." While I don't agree that the Lonely Forest's music can be so unapologetically compared to Death Cab's, he's dead on with the Enigk comparison. Van Deusen's voice is as rich and impassioned as the Sunny Day Real Estate frontman's—and his lyrics are often just as embattled and personal (when they're not being inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones books, as is the case with one of the band's news song called "Firebreather").
If you missed the show, or if you want to see the nose-blowing for yourself, a video and audio-only recording of the performance is available by downloading a new app, Lively, at getlive.ly.
(Most of...) the setlist is after the jump :
"Far Outer Banks" "Turn Off This Song" "Let It Go" "Blackheart vs Captain America" "Firebreather" (new song) "Coyote" "Last Time I Said You're Name" "Two Pink Pills" (Sniffles Remix) "(I Don't Want to) Live There"
I had to leave a tad bit early. If you know what came next, let me know in the comments! I bet it was great.