Thunderpussy w/ Red Fang and The Black Tones
Showbox, Seattle, WA
It’s New Year’s Eve and the crowd is buzzing with excitement and expectation as The Showbox begins to fill up for another celebratory Thunderpussy show. Adding to the anticipation are the metallic paper “Happy New Year!” tiaras and hats, Mardi Gras beads, and sequin sparkle outfits. A visual reminder that we are here to say goodbye to 2018 in the best way possible.
The Black Tones take the stage first and before even picking up their instruments, the entire band strips down to their skivvies to whoops and cheers from the enthusiastic crowd. Caught up in the infectious smile of lead vocalist/guitarist Eva Walker the audience doesn’t take long to warm up, jumping and dancing to the Afropunk-laced sound of the Seattle trio.
Next Portland-based Red Fang fills the room with booming metal sound. Guitarist Bryan Giles and bassist Aaron Beam share duties on vocals and, with David Sullivan also on guitar and John Sherman on drums, the band produces a sound that you can feel vibrating throughout your body.
As the clock inches closer to midnight, it’s the moment we have all been waiting for. Cloaked in a sequined shroud and the mists of dry ice and fog machines, lead vocalist Molly Sides emerges crooning a slow, eerie tune that comes crashing down into a wild rendition of ”Fever.” Flanked by guitarist Whitney Petty and bassist Leah Julius on either side and drummer Ruby Dunphy perched at her drum set, Sides prowls the stage streaming glam rock sequins as fluid as her dance moves, while the rest of the band—all dressed in equally glam, purple sequined outfits fit for true rock stars—keep up the energy around her.
This is my first time seeing Thunderpussy live. New to Seattle, I missed them the few times they came through my longtime home of Brooklyn and have been dying to see their legendary act in person for years. I was not disappointed. Midway through “Fever,” the band rotated clockwise on their instruments proving their tight sound and strong chemistry work no matter how you shake them up.
Fresh back from a tour supporting the release of their self-titled studio album, Sides kept telling us just how good it is to be home. The smiles on their faces prove they are just as happy to be there as we are. They tear through their set, the crowd a sweaty, sparkly frenzy, pausing only to ring in 2019 with a pop of streamers and a spray of champagne bursting over the audience.
They don’t pause long and soon Sides is shouting out “New year, new song!” treating us all to a taste of what’s to come. There was no shortage of familiar favorites, and as the set went on, dancers in purple outfits and special guest vocalists were brought out to bring even more fun, even more smiles, and even more sound to the stage. The set culminated in a rowdy version of “Respect” featuring many of the female guest vocalists that appeared on stage over the course of the night, including Eva Walker of The Black Tones, to go out in celebration of women everywhere. We couldn’t let that just be it, though, and our claps and cheers brought the band back out on stage for an encore, including a wild performance of “Velvet Noose.”
Whatever happens for the rest of 2019, I know I can rest easy knowing I started the year off right!
Review by Rebecca Pappas
Photos by Stephanie Dore
The Black Tones