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original site launched April 1, 2004, .com relaunched October 1, 2004
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December 20, 2005 – Rendezvous/Jewelbox Theatre – Seattle, WA
by Katie Sauro
Seaweed Jack’s first trip to Seattle put them in an unenviable spot—a Tuesday night, a small, rather low-traffic club, and no opening bands on the bill to help buoy attendance.
Upon hearing this, a lesser band would have been content to stay in safe ol’ Spokane, but the four-piece seized the opportunity to brave the unknown, packing the place with friends and family, and turning their set into a two hour Phish-inspired jam session.
The band played most of their debut album, The Captain, a mélange of bluesy guitar, jazz saxophone, even a little reggae, showing off their affinity for theatrical instrumentation and quirky songs, including the pirate-themed “Open Face Crab Sandwich.” As on the album, much of Seaweed Jack’s live set was instrumental, full of solos and long jams, with frontman Geoff Doolittle’s Isaac Brock-meets-Kurt Cobain growl piping in occasionally.
At times the songs got a bit repetitive, but the boys changed things up with quick, intermittent instrumentals like “Short Mailin’ at 1307” and an acoustic duet that featured guitarist Brian White and Doolittle, who, throughout the set, switched off on guitar, synths, and saxophone.
Most impressive was lead guitarist, White, a baby-faced phenom whose incredible, seemingly effortless, solos had the crowd staring in awe as his hands flew over strings, emitting sharp bluesy licks. White’s prowess makes the band what it is—and makes those songs that are exceedingly long (several were upwards of eight minutes), listenable.
While Seaweed Jack’s set did run long, they certainly made the most of their first Seattle show, putting on an animated performance that had the audience dancing in their seats and proving to the traditionally stoic Seattleites that jam bands are here to stay. And judging from the crowd’s reaction, the tiny theatre may not be able to hold all their fans when the band returns in January.
Seaweed Jack hits Seattle next on January 20 at The Rendezvous with We Wrote the Book on Connectors. More information, downloads and dates are available at www.seaweedjack.com
Want to see what we’ve said in the past? Check out our archived Seaweed Jack coverage: