Manatee Commune’s new live show mesmerized fans in Seattle last week. The show took place at Neumos, a popular venue in Capitol Hill, on an otherwise quiet Monday night. Instead of attracting a Friday night party crowd, the off-beat timing of the show attracted only die-hard fans. Unsurprisingly, the chemistry was unlike anything we’ve seen before.
The openers impressed an unusually critical audience
With such an intimate gathering, even the openers captured the undivided attention of the audience. Torpoise (Griffin Ryan), a 2017 Sound Off! finalist, lived up to his reputation.
Steadily garnering respect in the Seattle electronic scene, this fresh voice arrived completely up to the challenge of opening for not just one, but two local favorites. Actively cutting beats and introducing some live instrumentation caught everyone’s attention. Anything less than what was delivered would have fallen flat, but Torpoise’s clear-cut talent lived up to the night’s unusually high expectations.
Up next, Chong the Nomad (Alda Agustiano), energized the room with excellent banter and approachability. Her down-to-earth style of engaging with the crowd left every audience member feeling the love. Rising to fame in Western Washington, especially after her appearance at Double Major, even some of Chong’s lesser known songs received an excellent reaction. Her latest single, Undervelvet, has less than 20,000 plays on Spotify, but when members of the audience belted out the lyrics she responded with a playful smile.
Turning a rather sober group into a hand-banging dance party requires some irresistible energy. Chong flawlessly moved between mixing beats, strumming the ukulele, playing the harmonica, and delivering live vocals. This, paired with her excellent use of stage space, turned a one woman show into a complete production.
Manatee Commune’s new live show struck a balance
By the time Manatee Commune (Grant Eadie) stepped on stage, the buzz was palpable. Many fans came to the show with preconceived notions, having seen the man perform one or more times before. A colorful aesthetic, pink and purple visuals, and images of flowers come to mind. Nobody expected to see him appear dressed in all white, on a minimalistic stage with stark LED light stands.
As Manatee’s success continues growing, his new live show demands to be taken seriously, although not too seriously. The undeniable maturity of his show suggested a coming of age, of sorts. For an artist who began ultra intellectual, and then swung towards light, feel-good vibes, this new arrangement strikes an excellent balance between the two sides of the artist.
Beginning the night with classic tunes such as What We Got, and climaxing with hits from his latest release, PDA, Manatee played something for everyone. The mix of old and new also reflected an excellent balance in moods, but it was clear which songs spoke deeply to the performer.
During the performance of Famous, Eadie obviously enjoyed himself. His toothy grin only inspired increasing enjoyment from the already pleased crowd. Ending the night without an encore left everyone wanting more. On a Friday night, this move might not have slid, but on a Monday night before a holiday, the crowd did not complain too emphatically.
Overall, the performance was well worth attending. The selection of artists hit a perfect niche for Seattle’s committed electronic music fans, and each performance complimented the others. All three of these artists should be at the top of your watch list as they continue growing into greater recognition.
If you’re looking for more must see performances in Seattle, check out our January suggestions.
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