The Cave Singers – Rickshaw Theatre December 8, 2012
Before Saturday’s night show, I’d never been to the Rickshaw Theatre or even heard of the Cave Singers. I’d accidentally scored tickets to see them at their show and even though I’d never heard their music or knew anything at all about them, I can tell you that they were worth every single penny of the $15 that someone else spent on their ticket. Seriously, these guys were awesome.
I happened to get to the Rickshaw just as the opener, Poor Moon, was finishing up their last song. I’m not sure what that last tune was (Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?), but it sounded great.
I’m beginning to think that all great indie bands come from the West Coast – and just like all other great bands, Poor Moon and the Cave Singers are both from the land down below us: Seattle, Washington.
As I watched a few of the Cave Singers help set up their own gear, I looked around at the swelling crowd and thought, “Huh. The people are so diverse that I still have no idea what to expect from these guys. Huh. I also smell pot.” Sometimes you go to shows and everyone looks similar or looks a bit like the band itself (seriously, hit up an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show and I promise that you’ll encounter no fewer than several hundred Alexander Ebert lookalikes). Hipsters, frat boys, frat girls, hippies, the emo crowd, grandparents, and I all stood around waiting for Pete, Derek, Marty and their newest addition Morgan to hit the stage. I had no idea what I was gonna get.
Thankfully, I scored a setlist so I can tell you that their first song of the night was “Summer Light” from their album Welcome Joy. And the moment the lead singer Pete Quirk opened his mouth to sing and then began to dance, I was hooked. These guys are fantastic live! Pete is an expressive lead singer who dances and also kind of mimes the actions of the lyrics as his powerful voice is belting them out to the crowd. The lead guitarist, Derek Fudesco, towers over the other members of the band but you soon forget that very tall fact when this guy begins to play – complicated guitar rhythms seem like nothing to this guy, who played with his back to the crowd for roughly 90% of the show. But if you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of his hands moving as smoothly as a hot knife through butter across the fretboard, it was almost hypnotic and the sound he elicited only emphasized the whatever song they were playing.
And then it only got better – Morgan wasn’t simply the new guy playing bass. Nope, he also played the flute – THE FLUTE! – on a couple of songs while percussionist Marty did so many magical things with the drums, it’s hard to imagine that there was only one man behind that kit.
For $15, Saturday night’s crowd got more for their money than I could’ve imagined possible. We were treated to an exciting show from a group of guys who aren’t just ridiculously talented musicians, but they’re also fun and quirky with tunes that made you wanna get up out of your seat and dance along with them. And as a result, I’m currently spending some quality time with their albums so I can sing along the next time they’re in town – or within a 500km drive of town.