For the fourth year in a row, I attended the Thunderpussy New Year’s Eve Party at the Showbox. The theme of the night was “The Glow of Neon Sax” and attendees were encouraged to wear their neon best for what was sure to be a memorable night. The lineup was stacked with some of Seattle’s most entertaining performers headlined by the night’s hosts, Thunderpussy. I’ve always loved these Thunderpussy New Year’s Eve shows. They’re always high energy and a great way to welcome the New Year. This year’s show was no exception.
When I heard Trash Fire was going to open for Thunderpussy, I was excited. This was my fifth time seeing them perform live. Normally their sets are punctuated by some fun onstage antics like grabbing drinks and splashing the crowd with alcohol, using props like inflatable cats or a cash shooter, or the lead singer jumping into the audience to bring the show directly to crowd members. This set had the feel of a classic Trash Fire performance, but a little more toned back. There wasn’t much drink throwing, but there was still the audience engagement. Highlights of the set saw the lead singer give the light up LED shoes directly off his feet to someone in the audience, the lead singer run to the bar during a song, order three shots and proceed to drink shots with the bass player and the lead guitarist, and in a particularly unique moment the lead singer laid down on stage his head going into the hands of nearby audience members, stand up quickly only to get some bracelets stuck in his hair, and rather than pull the bracelets out, he continued the performance with these elastic bracelets hanging from his hair. As always they were fun and spontaneous. If you get the opportunity, I recommend checking out Trash Fire.
This was my first time seeing Constant Lovers perform and I was pleasantly surprised. I would describe their set as a dynamic mix of rock and hard rock featuring a lead singer switching between vocals, percussion, and saxophone. The lead singer’s ability to switch between instruments while also providing vocals was impressive. If I didn’t see it live, it’s almost hard to believe how well he was able to pull this off. Constant Lovers more than provided the necessary “Glow of Neon Sax” the night was themed after.
If there was any Seattle band I would put money on breaking out of the Seattle music scene within the next year or two, it would be BEAR AXE. I’ve seen BEAR AXE perform four times and all four times, I was left in awe of the performance led primarily by lead vocalist Shaina Shepherd. Her ability to command the stage is one thing, but the power of her vocals will make anyone a fan. The rest of the band are nothing to sleep on as well. The lead guitarist’s ability to play off the driving beat of the bass player and drummer really add a very jazz inspired quality to what I would otherwise describe as a soul/ funk/ hard rock amalgamation. Throughout their set BEAR AXE welcomed several local standouts including Terry Monstrosity and Kathy Moore To join their performance. If you haven’t already, check out BEAR AXE.
Personally I’ve seen Thunderpussy perform over twenty plus times. This past New Year’s Eve show the band accomplished to create something that felt new and fresh. When you go to a Thunderpussy show, there’s no question that you’re seeing a Thunderpussy show. There’s going to be hard rock with an emphasis on great musicianship, strong vocals, innate sexiness, and of course high energy. What made this performance stand out was what felt like a real emphasis on staging. The use of lighting, and how their wardrobe can play off that lighting, really added another layer to their performance. It’s because of this lighting and focus on staging, the audience was treated to a performance different from most other Thunderpussy shows. In terms of the set list, I like that they incorporated a lot of new songs into the mix. Hearing songs debut for the first time is one thing, but hearing some of their standards played in a sort of montage mid set as well as hearing the songs featured on their latest EP “Milk It” shows a band that’s willing to let their sound evolve. The set closed with members of the opening bands and several special guests (including Eva Walker from the Black Tones) taking the stage to perform in one massive jam session beginning with a cover of “We Belong” and closing out with a cover of “Jump Into the Fire”.
Overall, I felt very happy bringing in the new year with Thunderpussy. You would think seeing a band perform on New Year’s Eve four years in a row would get kind of stale, but really it’s become a pretty awesome tradition. I always try to bring a friend who’s never been to a Thunderpussy show along with, and every time the freind is blown away looking to snag merch and trying to find out when the next show is. I think that’s why I’ve been a Thunderpussy fan for so long. They have a captivating quality that leaves the audience wanting to see them perform again.
Thanks for the great time, Trash Fire, Constant Lovers, BEAR AXE, and of course, Thunderpussy!