Robyn Hitchcock + Venus 3 at the Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA
It was an older crowd at the Croc than you would normally see here. Not too surprising, since Hitchcock is no spring chicken. On his abbreviated tour for Ole Tarantula, he’s assembled an impressive band, including Peter Buck of REM, Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows and Bill Rieflin former Ministry, and current REM drummer.
Hitchock gets a lot of press for being a hilarious monologuist-improviser, I’d say that he’s somewhat amusing. Saturday night, he seemed a bit tired and not really up for many non sequiters. That was okay, because he and his band seemed to put all of their energy into playing. Hitchcock appeared on stage in purple pants, and pink shirt with lizards crawling all over it. The band lived up to their billing and sounded really tight. Hitchcock’s and Buck’s guitars playing off of one another, made for an amazing evening. Vibrating from Globe of Frogs sounded amazing, with the guitars filling the entire room with a warm hallucinogenic buzz. Some other highlights included If You were a Priest, Underground Sun, Jewels for Sophia and Flesh Number One. They did about half of the new record, leaving out a couple I was hoping they would play like Belltown Ramble (Why not since they were playing in Belltown and the Crocodile no less? Maybe it was too obvious) and N.Y. doll.
Their encore was so much fun, and totally caught me by surprise. Everyone came back out on stage including another guitarist and a second back up singer (Chris Ballew of Presidents of the U.S.A.). First encore song is the Byrds Eight Miles High. It was a bit chaotic but a sonic assault nonetheless! Second encore song is the Soft Boys I Want to Destroy You. Wow, that was super fun to hear and the crowd ate it up. They then left the stage for a minute and came back out and do a second Soft Boys song, Give it to the Soft Boys. You could have knocked me over with a feather. That was the last song of the night, and I went home a happy boy.
View the setlist that was loosely followed.