Concert Review

Deck the Hall Ball 2010

Words by Jim Bennett

Photos by Jim Bennett

The Deck the Hall Ball was celebrated last night at WaMu Theater in Seattle, in the shadow of the bigger sports stadiums. The cozy-by-comparison venue still felt plenty big – the crowd was packed in and happy to be showered with musical gifts by a succession of bands.

Sleigh Bells and The Temper Trap opened, playing to an increasingly larger and more enthusiastic audience as the afternoon turned to evening.

Cake followed and immediately had folks dialed into singing and grooving to their trumpet, guitars and interplay.

Jimmy Eat World‘s brand of catchy pop tunes was scheduled next, but briefly delayed for a special event: The Presidents of the United States of America came out briefly to do a quick front-of-stage couple of Christmas tunes, including a version of the Heat Miser/Cold Miser song from the old Rankin-Bass special “The Year Without A Santa Claus” featuring an extra verse for rainy Seattle.

Jimmy Eat World then truly did take the stage, bringing loads of energy to their set.

The Black Keys raised the bar to its height for the evening, washing the crowd in grungy fuzzy blues-stomp rock. Industrial midwestern funk rock has never sounded quite so good.

Following holiday well wishes by Jesus and Santa Claus and folks from local radio station 107.7 The End, Broken Bells took the stage to close the evening. They were ending an extended night of music, and did it with style – a shimmering, intricate, rich set of harmonies and rhythms from James Mercer, Danger Mouse and crew.

Seattle may not have a white Christmas (rarely does), but there was holiday cheer to spare last night.

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