Live Review: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, The New Law, Justin Timberline at BarbozaPosted by Bebe Besch
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at Barboza (all photos by Bebe Besch)
Barboza has truly hosted some incredible performances since opening earlier this year, but the venue itself is designed best for and favorably complements dance parties, which is why their sold out Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs show succeeded in being a packed affair on Sunday evening.
It’s hard to believe so much fun can come out of the creative crevasses of one man, but with Oxford’s Orlando Higginbottom (mastermind behind Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs or TEED) he makes it so. Coming off the recent release of his debut album Trouble, Higginbottom has been making his way across the country for a short US tour, with one fortunate stop for us at Barboza – marking TEED’s first show ever in Seattle, Wash. He thanked everyone for making it out to his first show in the area, complete with a friendly British accent that suggests our city exists as “Sea-at-ul.”
Though we weren’t provided the whole TEED package (patterned lights, glitter and dancing dinosaurs – which he hopes to have along for his next US tour), Higginbottom brought with him the three most important factors: an iconic outfit, his memorable melodies, and his soothing vocals. One of Higginbottom’s most prideful aspects of finishing Trouble was the finalizing and finessing of his own vocal work on many of the songs, with the title track “Trouble” being the song he recorded his first full vocal for, as he told us previously at SSG Music.
“Trouble” appeared not long into TEED’s non-stop set, with “Stronger” following midway through. At the core of the crowd were ferocious dancers, but the majority of them still took the time to sing the lyrics of the favorite “Garden” at Higginbottom while throwing their hands towards the low ceiling. Though Barboza had not only the air conditioning but also floor fans preparing for the show ahead of time and blowing throughout, sweat continued rolling down our faces and bodies as we felt hotter than the unthinkable 89 degree Seattle summer day we’d seen outside. Then, the playing of TEED’s “Waulking Song” from Prehistory II just helped heightened the warming feeling burrowing in the basement venue with its African chants.
Higginbottom had teased the notes for “Tapes & Money” early into his set, but saved it for his second to last song. Many were in the air, propelling themselves upward or towards the stage for the duration of the lively song that had us screaming the appropriate lyrics “feet don’t fail me now!” With that there was only one clear choice for TEED’s conclusive song and he gave it to us – “Household Goods.” The song combines all fun elements of electronic music as well as some simple dubstep-nearing bass lines. Barboza nailed it on their volume’s intensity which made for proper sound quality throughout the night; though the music rang powerful, earplugs were unnecessary and a full audio TEED experience was possible.
There’s something ultra rebellious about Orlando Higginbottom’s unwillingness to return to the stage for the encore the crowd at Barboza howled and were striving for. After many minutes of unsuccessful calls to play another song, followed by chants of “DIN-O-SAURS!” the lights officially came on and we were escorted out of the venue. Indubitably Higginbottom has more magic up his costume sleeves, hopefully next time he’ll share even more with us.
As an interesting lineup choice, The New Law took the stage for the middle set. The New Law is a local duo (with the addition of a live drummer) that specializes in trip hop and electronic music with a slice of jazz. Easily the most interesting portion of their live show lies in the responsibilities of Justin Neff on saxophone. All the while, Adam Straney vivaciously works through their songs next to Neff while pointing at their drummer and hyping the crowd as the three flow through their elegant mixing. The momentum of their set definitely hit both high and some low points, however, fans in the front row were actively enjoying each beat and requested a final extra song, which the sound technician granted The New Law the time for.
First for the night was local DJ Justin Timberline aka John Judge who spun his mixes from doors open at 8p.m. until his 9:45p.m. slot ended. Judge himself is quiet with his emotions on stage, but friendly in demeanor – smiling as the early comers to Barboza took turns dancing on the open (but soon to be filled) dance floor. You may also recognize Justin Timberline as a resident DJ for Seattle’s annual Decibel Festival, which will be coming up again quickly!