Fall Fling is the traditional kick-off concert for fall quarter at UW. This year’s concert featured Pickwick, Fences, Champagne Champagne and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Red Square. With an all Seattle lineup, you know that the concert was bursting with Seattle pride, especially with Macklemore at the end. How fitting it was to stand in the rain during the concert then. After the concert, I could not be more enthused about the benefits given to me as a student of the University of Washington. Almost worth the tuition hikes too. Almost. Let’s get right down to it and reflect upon the performers.
Besides Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pickwick was the one I enjoyed the most. They have a soulful, pop rock sound that was nice to listen to. I only caught the end of the concert, but this song stood out for me the most.
Fences only had the lead singer perform because the rest of the band was over in New York. Upon playing the first song, this one man show felt hallow, as the guy suffered from mic sounds or perhaps a lack of vocal melody. It felt kind of sad at first watching him perform by himself as the crowd noise escalated in restlessness during the first song (which only further pronounced the visual effect of the singer standing in front of the big Macklemore banner looming above). Granted, the songs performed by Fences did improve as time went on, but I just can’t help feel that it wasn’t all that great. Chris defended the guy by stating that he was matched up in a setting that sets him up to fail, considering that he’s playing in a venue in which no one knew his stuff. However, he did agree with me about the numbness of the opening track. The most notable moment of the performance came from the song “Sadie”, where the crowd helped (kinda) sing the chorus “It’s really getting too old for this kid”. Perhaps the crowd wasn’t as involved in that song because there were some mentions about drowning while the crowd stood in the rain…In a more accommodating environment, it would be safe to say that could have been a great moment. I’m curious to see how the sound of Fences change with the full band, seeing how the guy did alright off on his own.
Fences – Sadie (MP3)
The very embodiment of hit and miss. Chris absolutely hated the band’s periodic attempt to have the fans chant their name twice (reminded him too much of Sol’s mannerisms at Bumbershoot I suppose). Some songs I couldn’t hear anything because of the bass distortion. Maybe it was a benefit not to hear all the lyrics, because there were some lame verses. For example, “I don’t care who you are / I am a carnivore” and a Michael Vick dog fighting reference that was relevant a few years ago. I didn’t like the song “Peer Pressure” because although it had a good beat, the lyrics invoked a wtf response from me. However, the song immediately afterwards had a reference to Starfucker, and I’m down with that. Sitting back and reflecting upon these guys, I believe that the energy these guys brought to the stage made up for their weak rhymes and occasional ill-fitting song choice, and definitely help smooth the transition over to the show everyone was waiting for.
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS
Are these pictures enough to explain to you? Things went crazy during the place, especially when Macklemore hit the crowd with a 1-2 punch of “My Oh My” and “Can’t Hold Us”. See that earlier picture of him in costume? That was him decking out for crowd favorite “And We Danced”, where the audience literally surged forward and pushed everyone closer to the stage. At that point the crowd surfing got started. I believe he had the same set list as he did at Bumpershoot, but with a few included UW specific riffs AND OH MY GOD HE PLAYED MY PERSONAL FAVORITE “I SAID HEY”! What an awesome time.
A few years, Macklmore said he had played at Fall Fling, though he wasn’t the headliner. Now flash forward today, he’s been touring down in California, headlined the Bumpershoot main stage on Sunday, and was the big attraction at UW Fall Fling. The ascent of Seattle’s Son is in progress, and I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go.