The Twilight Sad - Tractor Tavern - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Twilight Sad - Tractor Tavern

by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2012-01-22

The Tractor Tavern, a little venue in the hip Ballard borough, is one of the oldest concert venues in Seattle in what used to be a Scandinavian Dance Hall in the early 1900s. The Tractor Tavern would go on to host a lot of local acts, mostly affiliated folk and country as the name suggests. But on this fateful Friday, The Twilight Sad would take the stage.

Perhaps it is a sheer coincidence that lead singer James Graham told the crowd almost the exact same thing that Stuart Braitwaite of Mogwai told the crowd at a packed out show in Chicago I attended so many years ago (“We’d like to thank you for making us your Friday night’s entertainment.”) but I’d like to think that the Gods of Music somehow live vicariously through these amazing Scottish bands, if nothing else to show their appreciation for the response that they received. The show certainly did not disappoint.

After a brief delay sorting out some issues with the equipment, the show began to a room full of anxious fans. After the lights dimmed to a deep hue of red, an eerie soundbyte played over the PA. The band took to the stage with PBRs in hand and broke into ‘There’s a Girl in the Corner’. 

The crowd was an diverse mix of a much older generation, the young crowd, and an overwhelming number of 30-or-40-something artist and blue-collar types. The energy in the room was palpable, as evidenced by James’ appreciative comments over the mike every few songs: “Thank you so much, Seattle. You guys are amazing, it means so much to us. I’m over the moon right now. If only every show we played could be as great as this.” 

The touring members, bassist Johnny Docherty and keyboardist Brendan Smith, deserve mention just as much as founding members guitarist Andy MacFarlane and drummer Adam Devine, who played flawlessly and with so much modesty in contrast to James, leaving plenty of room for himself to move about the stage with the energy of the music in a way that brought back memories of the great Ian Curtis. So pleasantly surprised was James at the crowd's response, at the end of the set he clasped his hands with emotion and jubilation.

As much as James was thanking the crowd, it should be us thanking them for a wonderful performance and music over the years. So thank you, Twilight Sad. May the journey continue.

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