The Little Big Show Packs a Tuneful, Fundraising Punch
Glancing around the Neptune on Friday night, you’d not have been faulted for thinking this was just another good turnout at a venue that’s quickly become one of Seattle’s most consistent purveyors of music and arts performances.
But the words dimly projected onto the curtain at the back of the stage reminded us why we were there–or rather, why the show was even happening. The Little Big Show (“a little show that makes a big difference”) produced its second lineup so far this year, thanks to the KEXP, Starbucks, and STG Presents cooperation that realized it in the first place.
With all ticket proceeds benefiting a local arts organization (Coyote Central for this go ’round), and the first iteration back in February raising over $13,000, it’s an arrangement that it seems to work for all involved.
But no doubt the true draw for most were performances by double-word named bands Poor Moon and Real Estate. Confusion upon hearing about another Little Big Show featuring a band word “moon” in its name aside, it was a billing that worked. Introducing Real Estate, DJ El Toro from KEXP shared his agreement with the often divisive and mercurial Pitchfork regarding their praise for the band’s latest album Days.
The five New-York-by-way-of-New-Jersey rockers shuffled quietly onto the stage and picked up their instruments like they’d just set them down a couple of hours earlier. The audibly excited crowd swayed back and forth to their melodic, dreamy, and often swirly songs mostly from Days. Between-song banter not being their forte, guitarist and singer Martin Courtney’s dashing backstage for a forgotten capo provided the most entertaining interlude. Then it was back to the songs you’d want playing the next time you find yourself in a hammock. Preferably a hammock near water, when the air is at its most desirable temperature and your favorite drink is within reach.
Newly signed by Sub Pop, local opener and Fleet-Foxes-offshoot Poor Moon stuck to a similar formula, promoting their latest EP Illusion. With more of a folky bent than the headliner, they ended on an upbeat note, encouraging the audience to join in the handclapping–which they enthusiastically did. No one in the audience was sweating at the end of this show (Come to think of it–were any of the band members?) but it’s likely everyone left with a tune in their head.