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The 1900’s at the Sunset Tavern, Seattle | 2 September 2008

Chicago’s 1900’s are out on the West Coast for a short tour to bring their baroque pop sounds to the Pacific Northwest. Over the weekend they were up in Vancouver, BC to play the Malkin Bowl mini-festival in Stanely Park. I was surprised they didn’t also play this past weekend’s Bumbershoot festival here in Seattle. I suppose blame with the anomalies of booking. I’m sure the band would have rather played a jam packed venue at the Seattle Center instead of a spacious Sunset Tavern on Tuesday night. In any event, they played, and the small group of people at the Sunset were not disappointed.

The band number seven, crammed themselves onto the small stage which didn’t leave very much room for movement, but they seemed to create a lot of heat nonetheless.  They seem to get a lot of comparisons to Fleetwood Mac and guitarist Ed Anderson, brought this up saying the main difference between them and the Mac was that the 1900’s do more coke.  The band’s alleged romantic entanglements aside, their amped up version of baroque pop does at times sound like Fleetwood Mac, but their sound also brings to mind bands like the Essex Green and Ladybug Transistor.  Playing stuff from both their first ep Plume Delivery and album Cold and Kind and leaving out all of their slower songs, the band kept the energy high and the harmonies tight throughout the set.  They sounded not as polished as their records, but that added to their charm and showed a more rock side of the band. Singers Jeannie O’Toole and Caroline Donovan harmonies were a highlight, but the entire band seemed to play the songs with a comfortable ease and enthusiasm that was infectious.

Cold and Kind came out last year, so the band have recently put out a 7 inch single containing a couple out takes from Cold and Kind as a stop gap between albums.  Neither one of the songs from the new single were played Tuesday night, so here’s one ’em.

mp3: The 1900’s – Everybody’s Got a Collection (buy the single)

Set list: Bring The Good Boys Home | Georgia | When I Say Go | Babies | Painted White | Acutiplantar Dude | The Medium Way | Not Wrong | Two Ways

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