Blossoms w/ Joyfield
Vera Project, Seattle, WA

Supporting their 2016 debut self-titled album, UK quintet Blossoms stopped by Seattle’s all-ages music and arts center, Vera Project for their 43rd show of the year. With the album having already hit number one on the UK charts, the band was warming up fans stateside before they hit the festival circuit.

The night opened with Seattle’s own Joyfield. Even with just a small crowd of about 20 people to motivate and cheer them on, the group brought loads of energy with an exciting and talented performance. Lead singer Ellie Hanes had a voice and performance style like Hayley Williams from Paramore, and brought a fearless, strong front to the band. Their original music was shockingly good and energetic. Their sound was somewhere between pop-punk and indie-rock, and it suited them perfectly.

Opening with “At Most a Kiss,” Blossoms took the stage and immediately had everyone rushing forward and singing along to their catchy tracks. Unfortunately, the crowd that eagerly watched and admired the band was only about 40 people. The band quickly took notice, remarking that this was surely the most “intimate” gig they’ve done in a while, but their music still sounded incredible.

Blossoms lean a little more retro/vintage sounding than most alternative bands today. Lead singer Tom Ogden’s voice is like a young Alex Turner, and Blossoms’ album even sounds a little like The Last Shadow Puppets, just a little less greasy uncle and a little more Brit-rock.

“Getaway” beautifully laced an 80’s-influenced synth with sweet lyrics and a melody that didn’t seem out of place in this decade. “Honey Sweet” had everyone singing along and dancing happily to their most popular song. What the crowd lacked in size, they more than made up for in enthusiasm and actually knew the band’s music really well. From the dedicated girls who rushed to the front, to the tween best friends, to the drunk college kids, most of the crowd knew all the lyrics and sang along passionately all night.

“My Favorite Room” was, subjectively, the best part of the night. The song gets a bit lost in the album, as it’s a calmer track among 11 other songs that are a little more fast-paced and exciting. After the last track, Ogden announced that for “My Favorite Room,” he usually asks if anyone in the crowd has been dumped recently, though there were slim pickings this particular night. However, there happened to be a girl named Sophia in the back of the crowd, who then got her ex’s name, Gauge, featured in the performance. Smiles popped up on faces as lyrics were changed to “Gauge would tell me every day that I’m all his and it’s okay,” along with later parts in the song. Up until late in the track, it was just Tom performing with an acoustic guitar, and it was simply lovely. It showed off his soft, sweet voice with sad lyrics, thinning the sound out so you can appreciate them.

“Nah, we’re not playing that one tonight,” joked Ogden, in response to shouts of “CHARLEMAGNE!!” from the crowd. The group topped off their performance with one of their most popular tracks, quickly thanked the crowd, and walked off stage.

To put it simply: Blossoms sounded great live. Their album is fun and upbeat, but also relaxed, with easygoing 80’s influences. With such a talented performance and such a big lineup for the future (Coachella, Lollapalooza, Gov Ball, Firefly, etc.), it was mystifying to see Vera so empty. Regardless, the band did a great job, a better performance than some shows with 20 times more people, yet unfortunately there just wasn’t a lot of people around to enjoy it. Blossoms killed their set, delivering a night for dedicated fans.

Blossoms Set List
At Most a Kiss
Smashed Pianos
Honey Sweet
Across the Moor
Blown Rose
My Favorite Room
Cut Me and I’ll Bleed
Deep Grass

Review by Lulu Dawson
Photos by Vadim Blishchik