Chateau Marmont (photos and videos by Bebe Besch)
If you happened to stumble into Ballard’s The Sunset on Monday night, you probably found yourself walking away with a thick French accent and a new love for synth. Bands Chateau Marmont and Revolver kicked off the 2nd show of their US tour at the intimate tavern, where they decided to alternate as headliners. The final performance, made by Chateau Marmont, excitedly showed us a glimpse into the world of French futuristic dance music.
Chateau Marmont treats the synthesizer as an artistic element, and shared their love for it with the crowd at The Sunset without hesitation. Vocal duties were split between the bands’ keyboardists, while the other two members lead vivacious drums and bass. Many of the songs performed highlighted the synth and their experimental note work, with even a few of the songs remaining lyric-less. The band exemplified shyness, however they also utilized humor as they told the Seattle crowd “thank you very much” between songs over synth – robotizing their voices with laughter. Their experimental techniques and positive attitudes resonated with those in the crowd, who bobbed along in interest. Space-pop has never sounded so good; it’s easy to see why their remixes of La Roux, Heartsrevolution, Ladyhawke, and Röyksopp have gathered the band so much attention! Chateau Marmont’s first performance in Seattle ended as a high one, and with luck, we’ll hopefully (and appropriately) see much more from them in the future!
Similarly, the second performance were made up of four charming French-men. Revolver hails from Paris, but their sound is largely influenced by the likes of great bands The Beatles and The Kinks. Vocals pooled together from band members Willaume Ambroise (guitar), Christophe Musset (guitar, keys), and Jérémie Arcache (cello) for their pop-rock sound, which sounds homogeneous to the band The Kooks. Maxime Garoute set the backbone for the songs, using the drum set on stage shared with Chateau Marmont. Their upbeat style of generally feel-good music pulled away from the atmosphere set by from the opening act, which had couples dancing under the venue’s disco ball. Audience members cheered for their M. Ward cover and shout out to KEXP studios, where they had earlier that day played the cover for the first time publicly. Their personalities could not have been more inviting and warm; when front man Ambroise wasn’t on the dancefloor himself, he was on stage encouraging folks to engage in song from the audience. Revolver’s delightful set had everyone forgetting of the hard rain pouring outside, as we were reminded instead of drives along the oceanside – windows all the way down.
Kelli’s Starlight Wishes contrasted as the opener for the night, not only in style but by background. Lead by singer/songwriter Kelli Frances Corrado of Seattle, influences were taken from her many experiences as a tap dancer, an army wife, and a helper of the homeless. Her music reflected this past as such; a very serious mood lingered from beginning to end of her set as melancholy guitar and violin were wrapped over mixed computer recordings and simplistic drumming. Whispers and coos were also relevant in this performance, sending a haunting reminder of a nearing October.
See a few videos and more photos from the show below: