by Josh Bis
on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM
It's outrageously early to be thinking about "the holidays" (I don't even have an idea for a Halloween costume, let alone an agenda for Chrismukkah), yet here we are, in the first weekend of October thinking about the Deck the Hall Ball. Although The End hosts these year-end musical extravaganzas annually, one as Relevant To My Interests as this year's installation is a much rarer commodity: the last time they invited Vampire Weekend and Phoenix to play (at WaMu Arena) was way back when the bank with naming rights to that venue was only freshly defunct. At that time, those bands—who put on some of my favorite festival sets of 2013—were just wee indie darlings in tiny type far below bold faced names like Muse and Jordan Catalano. This year they're the kings of Key Arena.
The rest of the lineup is pretty much solid gold, too, with barely a break in the action to sneak away for an excessively priced luxury beer or piping hot pretzel (this is me guessing about sports food, sorry), including talent scoured from across the pond (∆, Arctic Monkeys, Foals) and down under (Lorde, Tame Impala), as well as Ballard's own the Head and the Heart, playing in support of their long-awaited/soon-to-be-released sophomore album (Let's Be Still, out on Sub Pop October 15). Let's watch the 107.7 crew say the names of all of these bands a few times, shall we?
Deck the Hall Ball takes place on December 4. Tickets go on sale today at noon and will cost about $67 after Ticketmaster gets their share (a little more money might get you better seats or vaguely important person status). A small note for your cost benefit analysis: if you're more impressed by the addition of Lorde (the youngest artist since Tiffany to find herself with a #1 Billboard Hot 100 single, sharing the top ten with a Norwegian song about vulpine mysteries) to the lineup than by a tiger on a gold leash: (1) I don't believe you, it's a tiger! on a gold leash!maybe I just figured out my Halloween costume, and (2) if last year was any indication, most of the buzzy acts in the very early opening hours only get about 20 minutes for their set. Which means, maybe two Tame Impala psych-jams?
Tickets allocated for Thursday's presale allegedly went lightning quick. Whether this is because only a small pool was available or because the password was easily-guessable and widely-distributed is difficult to guess. In any case, if you want to start your winter festivities with classic indie hits, have an airtight buying strategy and a couple of browsers tuned to Ticketmaster at the decisive moment.