dancing on graves while doing body shots.
It didn't take long for the Seattle-based Cave Singers
to get nearly everyone at The Independent
stomping their feet last night. That's probably because the long, rolling beats behind the songs the band played -- most of which came from the Cave Singers' latest album, Welcome Joy
-- are hard not
to stomp to.
Bathed in red mood lighting, lead vocalist Pete Quirk belted out brooding anthems his with eyes closed and hands clasped in front of him (when they weren't clasping a guitar, melodica, or shaker). Beside him, lead guitarist/pedal bassist, Derek Fudesco (formerly of Pretty Girls Make Graves), rocked back and forth on his chair with eyes locked in concentration at the complicated picking he kept up throughout every song. Even more than the rolling drums, Fudesco's riffs acted as the rhythmic fulcrum for most of the Cave Singers' songs. Audience members stomped but there wasn't much dancing going on -- most appeared to prefer standing with half-smiles and open-mouths in quiet appreciation.
Quirk may have the soulful voice of a holy-roller, but his quirky stage presence
-- his occasional booty-shakes, head scratches, and casual banter --
balanced out the intensity of the band's music. When we cornered Quirk before the show, he told
us he thought this tour
has been their best yet. The band played a short set last night, ending around 10:30 p.m., because, we imagine, playing with that kind
of energy requires some serious endurance. The group produces a lot of sound for having just three members.
Plus, the Cave Singers
currently have just two albums, and their songs on both aren't long.
Just as each individual tune builds into a climax, last
night's set also felt like a steady climb to the Cave Singers' most foot-stompin
song of them all, "Dancing on My Grave."