Drunk At A Show: Palm, So Pitted, Palberta
Distinction Music Management presents another episode of Drunk at a Show, where nothing is made up and the amount of shots consumed before, during, and after the show doesn’t matter.
The Crocodile back bar is the musical crown jewel of the Belltown drinking district. Belltownys (Belltownians?) can be found in and around the area at any of the seven (or more) bars in a three block radius on any given night, even on a Tuesday. The block sets the scene for yours truly stashing a vodka / La Croix combo in the alley across the street from the venue (regrettably, the back bar is not BYOB.)
The line to the will call box is split between people coming to the back bar and people showing up for a Beach Fossils show across the hallway on the Croc’s main stage. The sheep are being divided from the goats.
New York’s all-femme power-trio punk monstrosity Palberta is the first to the stage. Chunky bass meshes into loose riffs and three part vocal harmonies that never exceed three minutes. Quantity was job one, as Palberta got through nearly half their 20-track debut album in 20 minutes. The band swaps instruments virtually after every song, which mixed with the sparse drums and out of tune guitars gave a communal, irrevocability to the music. The live show’s earthiness solidified when the band faded back into an a capella rendition of “She Feels That Way.” The creeping eerieness possessed by the band’s latest release Bye Bye Berta hit the crowd like a brick wrapped in steel wool.
Next up is So Pitted, Seattle’s own three-piece industrial sludge outfit. People are quick to label the Sub-Pop signees as just another really really good grunge band, but when the Korg gets cracked out two songs in, you can tell that behind the guitar curtains and bass chug what you’re actually listening to is dance music. Albeit dance music from some alternate reality where cybergoth had a resurgence in 2017.
Following the agro slackerdelia come the headliner. Palm is in full affect. There’s a big shift in the crowd’s energy as the aggression of the previous acts fade back into a warm psychedelic guitar haze that becomes literally palpable when an unmistakeable dankness wafts through the crowded bar. Palm’s queered technicality and mastery of their instruments comes from each member eschewing technical training on their instruments and individually building their own musical languages around their instruments. The result is sonorous and sweet, the homecoming feeling of a Tame Impala provided more richness by the mathique intelligence. You can see all the musical hallways Palm explores on their latest release, the gorgeous Shadow Expert.
By the time the show was over everyone had finally loosened up enough to dance, I was down a can of La Croix (it’s probably still in the alley if anyone’s trying to get it back to me) a metric asston of merch had been purchased and everyone in attendance was SO pitted.