Cataldo and Rebecca Gates at The Sunset Tavern June 15th, 2010
Walked in as Cataldo had just started their set. Superb and solid song writing with a clear sense of melody. Songs were wistful but not cloying. Occasionally they started to rock, building to a crescendo from quietude. Some of the newer material got more complex (in a good way) in terms of song structure. All the material was underpinned with a confidence in the melody.
And the between-song banter was spot on as Eric Anderson, the lead singer, owned the stage with aplomb, the cadence of his voice rising and falling like a radio personality. When someone shouted for Iron Maiden, Eric shot back, "Well, that's not going to happen, but there will be plenty of tender folk rock." And there was some other comment about being a "true bespectacled Seattle liberal." His self deprecation was delivered with total confidence. He also asked the audience if anyone had any questions, in the Northwest tradition of Calvin Johnson/David Bazan/etc. (Is that a NW thing?)
Rebecca Gates came on next, starting out solo, her voice lush and sumptuous, filling (and quieting) the bar. Then, her new band, The Consortium, joined her and went into a song off The Ruby Series, I think "Lure and Cast." Then a bunch of new material, more straight up rock'n'roll as opposed to the jazz-inflected Ruby Series tunes, always with that signature Rebecca Gates punch. She did one Spinanes song from Arches and Aisles. Can't say enough about the drummer, who was perfectly complimentary on every tune, never overplaying but so completely proficient and rhythmically complex. Every now and then he let loose, unleashing mad fills. Love hearing jazz drummers play in these kinds of non-jazz contexts. They ended with a cover of "Are You Experienced." Oh and she gave a shout out to the Celtics. Great to see her back with a band and a forthcoming record.