A new feature for this blog will be what I call a “2 Coffee Show Review”. A “2 Coffee Show” is a show whose ticket costs as much as the cost of two coffees or specialty drinks at Starbucks. Usually this means the price of a single ticket cost me less than $10. This is no way is an indicator of the quality of the show. I’ve been to a lot of incredible “2 Coffee Shows”. It usually means the bands are young or still trying to gain a foothold in the local market. Characteristically the crowds are normally small and it’s a great opportunity to meet and hang out with the talents before or after their sets. For these reviews, I’ll provide an introduction, at least a paragraph on each performer, and a conclusion about whether or not the show was worth more than the two coffees I gave up by going to the show.
Last week I attended a show at Barboza which featured Katie Kuffel, Eastern Souvenirs, and Richie Dagger’s Crime. I decided to attend this show kind of spur of the moment. I was looking for a show in the area that was reasonably priced but featured acts that I knew would deliver, and then I saw the lineup for this show and was a little taken aback that these performers were all on the same $8 lineup. I happily paid my fee and made my way to Barboza. In terms of crowd size, I would say it never got past 20 people at one time. Still I was excited for what I was going to see. (Photos and videos below)
I’ve seen Katie Kuffel perform a number of times. She has one of the most unique powerful voices in the current Seattle music scene, and when you see her perform, she seems very nonchalant, like what she’s doing just comes naturally. Having recently released an album, I was excited to see her perform some of these songs live. There wasn’t much of an audience when she began, but by the end, everyone in the room was standing in attention. She tried out a new song at the end of her set, that if I’m honest needs more ironing out (all I remember was she said the word “swallow” a lot in the early portion of the song). Otherwise, a fantastic opener, and I’ll personally never get tired of hearing the song “Fault Lines” performed live.
I’ve never seen Eastern Souvenirs perform live but in research for this show I found out they were set to headline a show the following week at Chop Suey. This felt like a warm up for that set. I found the trio entertaining. The vocals performed over synths and fast paced drums motivated the audience that was present to dance. In a room of less than 20 people, if you could get folks to dance and move without embarrassment, that’s a great sign of talent, or at least good songs. From what I saw, I wouldn’t mind seeing Eastern Souvenirs perform again.
Richie Dagger’s Crime
This was my first time seeing Richie Dagger’s Crime perform. I had heard the album “Sea of Dysfunction” and was curious how these songs would be performed, because it featured multiple layered instrumentation and when I was there, the band consisted of just three people. It was either the set was quick paced or it felt short, but he did perform the songs I was hoping to hear,” Absence” (Part 1 and 2) and “I Bleed the Future Seeds”. Other than the feeling that the set was short, I thought it was a good show. I thought the band were fun performers, and it was interesting seeing those songs performed live.
Overall for a 2 Coffee show I felt the price was justified, if not undervalued. None of the performers were bad, two of the performers put out albums recently that drew positive reception, and one of the performers are set to headline a show in the upcoming week. For $8, this was a great show.