I remember seeing movies at The Neptune. I remember being very sad when it closed. Presently I’m very happy it is reopen as a music venue. It’s actually kind of perfect.
The Wilderness of Manitoba match their name; they’re making music for mother nature. They maintain a lot of the ideal qualities for an Indie-folk band: harmonies, guy/girl singers, and multiple instrument excellence. Every song a member would be putting down instrument and switching another, trading the banjo for the cello, the ukulele for an harmonica, an egg shaker for a singing bowl. The audience joined in with clapping and dancing. This was their first time out to Seattle and they seemed genuinely happy to be here saying, “we got to walk around your town last night, really pretty place” and when commenting about The Neptune, “this is the nicest room we’ve played in all summer.” I’m surprised they didn’t come out here sooner. Seattleites love their naturalistic whimsical folky sound. (Have you ever heard Fleet Foxes?). At the end of their set two members of Cloud Cult came onstage to play French horn and trombone on the song ‘November,’ a song that sounds like a mystical autumn sunset. They felt intimate and sounded fresh, a very beautiful experience.
Cloud Cult came out and immediately shook up our expectations with all six members banging on the drums as hard as they could. The audience was shocked into shape. This wasn’t going to be your regular Indie-folk, this was going to be special.
Cloud Cult has the ability to be a deep-rooted folk band but has the desire for the weird and explosive. They were fond of keeping a song consistent with a ticking buzz until all the members hit their cue and would explode with force. At times they were quiet like the grass, other times they were loud like a rocket ship taking off. The second song filled the room with an echo of a violin and came together with a tip toes of a keyboard very Sigur Ros-esque. Towards the end the lead singer even whipped out auto-tune. I couldn’t help wondering why because he had a strong voice and didn’t need it. Did he use it just to be different? Perhaps. It was still fun.
The entire time they played, an artist “live-painted” their show. He painted on stage while they played, turning their energy into a work of art. It started with chaotic mashes of paint and formed into a wonderfully deep woman’s face. Maybe this is like the band, they have their strong qualities and they have their weirdness, regardless, it comes together into something beautiful.