Alex Clare w/ Bobby Bazini and Duke Evers
Neumos, Seattle, WA

Occupying a little corner in the middle of Capitol Hill, Neumos is home to some of the best on-the-rise concerts around. So when local band Duke Evers was added as a last minute opener to Alex Clare’s show, it simply felt right.

Active members of the Seattle music scene, Duke Evers are no stranger to Neumos—or any of the other venues around town—and they frequently pop up here on Seattle Music News. But these guys continue to kill the game, whether it’s to a tiny crowd or a sold out venue.

Walking on stage with a big smile, frontman Josh Starkel started the night by introducing himself to and talking with some of the front row fans as he waited for the sound guy to appear. Once the set got started, it quickly boosted the dead energy in the room and kept it high for the next half hour.

“Here We Go” and earlier songs of the set perfectly showcased the band’s sound. With a confident air that’s ready to rock, the duo alternated between retro-sounding playful vocals and intense instrumental breaks filled with head-banging and dancing from the band and crowd alike.

Switching things up a bit, Bobby Bazini took the stage next with a really mellow, acoustic set. Hailing from eastern Canada, the trio switched the night from heavy rock bangers to a laid-back singer/songwriter vibe for a quick set the crowd slowly swayed along to.

Up to headline the night, Alex Clare took the stage to showcase his unique sound. Clare had one hit, “Too Close,” that blew up around 2011, and is the kind of track it feels like was played on every radio station until everyone had all the lyrics memorized. After his 15 minutes of fame though, Clare faded off the charts, though he continued to release two more albums with a similar sound.

His performance toned everything down to the bare minimum with just loud drums, an even louder bass guitar, and him front-and-center belting his lyrics. The set showed off his darker blues/soul/electronic sound, one that works well with his rich voice.

With Alex Clare scheduled to play in Seattle in support of Tail of Lions, his latest release, and apparently in need of another opener, local favorites Duke Evers stepped up to bless the nearly empty venue with another one of their fantastic sets. Returning to the familiar stage with a shuffled setlist, the duo always has some surprises in hand to keep things interesting, though their sound in itself is more than enough to do that.

Review and photos by Lulu Dawson

Alex Clare

Duke Evers

Bobby Bazini