DAAS: Don Forgetti, Public Pool, and Billy Ward & the Other Guys at Hot Yoga
I pre-gamed for the Don Forgetti, Public Pool, and Billy Ward & the Other Guys gig at Hot Yoga on Saturday night with a hearty bowl of Panera Mac and Cheese and bread. With my water bottle and other beverages in tow, I made my way to the show.
I was 24 ounces deep in a Rainier when Seattle band, Don Forgetti started their set. They kicked it off with their bouncing track “Fishin Whole,” and the crowd battled the sound for space in the sweaty basement. Bassist and lead vocalist Miiko Valkonen captivated me with his biting voice and energetic performance. The band has a self-described Math Rock sound that stood out against the soft tones of the rest of the lineup, but I’d never say no to a set that makes me want to jump around! Plus, Don Forgetti just finished a brand-new EP and will be hitting the road soon, so I’m glad I didn’t miss my opportunity to be shouted at over riffs that stopped and started in ways that I didn’t expect to love but totally did.
Public Pool played next and although I’m still not sure which Seattle public pool they represented, I am sure that they were spectacular. Jack O’Brien and Zac Hartwell split lead vocal duties and complimented each other well with O’Brien’s deep, rich voice moving the crowd one song and Hartwell’s higher vocals doing the job the next. Their overall sound was something along the lines of Hippo Campus with a Death Cab for Cutie dark side. I didn’t know what to expect from this band, but I dug their understated presence. Their set wasn’t super in-my-face, but it didn’t have to be to grab my attention.
Finally, roughly 72 ounces of Rainier later, Billy Ward & the Other Guys, who hail from Bellingham made their big city Seattle debut. Two songs into their set, I looked over and my friend and said, “this band is literally Brand New mixed with Mouse Rat,” (i.e., Chris Pratt’s band in the show Parks and Rec). By this, I meant that they sounded extremely emo with lyrics that were delivered a little like Jesse Lacey doing a Dave Matthews impression. But, the last thing we need is another Jesse Lacey and thankfully, Billy Ward was by all means his own (less problematic, folkier) artist.
Hot Yoga has been booking some stacked bills lately, so if you’re in the U-District, grab some beer and pop on over to check out some of the best local deep cuts and fascinating traveling acts around. Most importantly, always eat before you drink and remember to support your local scene!