Macefield Music Festival: Night 1
Ballard, WA
10.02.15 – 10.04.15

Just when you thought festival season was over, October brought about the third annual Macefield Music Festival. Upholder of all things local, supporter of the bands that other bands want to watch, Macefield has become known for it’s hometown, independent sensibility. Three days of local acts spread over small Ballard venues, sponsored by local companies, and you have the proof of a still-thriving community spirit, hosted in Ballard – itself a fiercely independent neighborhood.

While conflicts kept us away from catching the full festival, Friday night’s lineup couldn’t be beat, and we camped out at Tractor Tavern for back-to-back sets from some of the biggest local names of the year. We finished dinner at the cozy Hattie’s Hat just in time to find spots at the edge of the stage for Seattle fuzz-rockers Fox And The Law. Unstoppable guitars, intelligent lyrics, grizzly punk bravado, this summer saw the release of their “stoner-glam opus” The Trouble With People and a whirlwind European tour. Thankfully we had both Bumbershoot and now Macefield to enjoy their face-melting virtuosity before they take an indefinite hiatus.

Next up was the brilliant debauchery of Don’t Talk To The Cops. Like a giant middle fingered-inside joke, DTTC breaks every boundary you might try to put on in-your-face musical genres and do it with hilarity and mind-bending lyricism. Their musical mashup combined with some seriously insane moves result in a show that makes me tired just watching and they had the whole house bouncing along with their hip-hop heavy beats and punked-out lyrics.

At that point the energy in Tractor was on the verge of explosion, and Thunderpussy was the band to pop the cork. I’m not the only one who has been singing the praises of these ladies all year, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Once again, vocalist Molly Sides had everyone in the palm of her hand, her relentless showmanship the heartbeat of the band. But let’s not forget about that band either, TP’s musicianship, their bluesy guitars and thumping bass lines a rocket-ship of power.

Closing out the night were Grace Love and the True Loves. The magnetic field that surrounds Ms. Grace is one of purebred soul with a side of funk. This is a band that makes you move, before you even realize you are. Love’s powerful pipes matched up with her 8-person band led by the soft-spoken but masterful Jimmy James are a force to be reckoned with. And whether you like it or not – how could you not? – the True Loves’ unbridled groove is catching fire right now. Celebrating their self-titled debut album release at this Macefield show, the band looked happy, and grateful. Oh, and that cover of Prince’s “Kiss”? Perfection.

Keep up the good work Macefield. We’ll be back next year!

Review by Stephanie Dore
Photos by Sunny Martini