Typically opening night of TBA is kind of overwhelming and terrible. It's free, and overrun with intimidatingly young, pretty art-school hipsters (which is probably awesome if you ARE one, but sort of horrid otherwise), and usually so packed that it's impossible to see the mainstage action, much less get a spot on the dance floor.
This was not the case last night. Maybe it was the MusicFestNW overlap, creating an extremely low-stakes hipster Sophie's Choice, but the crowd at Washington High last night for Vockah Redu and Beyonda was perfect: It was plenty busy and everyone was ready to dance, but not so packed it was unpleasant. Vockah Redu might've been the best opening night performance I've seen at TBA—I'm not remotely versed in this "New Orleans bounce" the kids like so much, but the music was energetic and aggressive, danceable with a distinctly sexual edge. Beyonda followed in a similar vein, accompanied by a beautiful, scantily clad dancer dude who I kind of wish would dance along to EVERY TBA show this year.
If you missed it, I'm sorry for you, but here's a taste of what Vockah Redu had to offer:
In other news, PICA has also built out their beer garden a bit, adding more space and multiple levels. Food cart Koi Fusion was in attendance for all your kimchi-filled taco needs. Also, I went to Havana West (formerly Hal's) beforehand for a drink, and there was drag queen karaoke and a fire eater. Just sayin'.
Tonight at the Works:
FAST WEAPONS PRESENTS—Fast Weapons is the record label run by Nathan Howdeshell—AKA Brace Paine from Gossip—and he’s responsible for curating tonight’s smorgasbord of music, art, and performance. But if you need more motivation, the furthest nooks and crannies of Washington High School will be filled with entertainment. There’s the growling garage rock of Ghost Mom, the dance-club chimera of Dangerous Boys Club, performance artist Harry K presenting a piece called Love Is Blind, Lingerie Is Braille (which may or may not be the artist sitting alone in a cubicle eating Funyuns), and more—plus something called a “Dissing Booth,” which, admit it, you’ve been waiting your whole life for. 10:30 pm, Washington High School, $5-8