Summer Meltdown 2012: PickwickPosted by Lindsey Bluher
In my preview of Pickwick’s performance at Summer Meltdown, I voiced my theory that Pickwick might just be the next big thing to come out of Seattle. After witnessing the band’s performance Sunday, I think I could be right – so long as the world is ready to do a dance move entitled the Ostrich.
Sunday was a scorcher at Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, with most of the crowd relaxing in the shady spots in the Meltdown stage arena. If you were brave enough to get up close, personal, and sweaty with Pickwick in the August heat, you probably became just as unhinged as singer Galen Disston. Somehow I’d managed to miss seeing Pickwick until Sunday’s performance, and I think I got a great introduction as to what this band does on stage, and how it’s received by an audience.
Starting solidly, this was probably overall one of the best performances from this years Meltdown. Pickwick combines soul and funk, with just enough jam band added to the elixir to make a home for themselves in an outdoor venue. The weekend was bursting at the seems with talented musicians, but I don’t think I saw anyone give the crowd the sort of energy that came from each member of Pickwick.
When you hear them on record, you may be inclined to bob up and down, perhaps even snapping your fingers to-and-fro. They undoubtedly have that sort of mo-town, do-whop feel to them. Live, however, don’t you dare sit there and snap your fingers in time with the beat. Each member came alive under the sweltering heat, and I don’t think any of them stayed in the same spot for longer than a few moments if they could help it. Galen Disston is a lunatic on stage, and I love him for it. His ability to throw himself around the stage — without harming himself or his band mates — while slaughtering the vocals in “Hacienda Motel” is astounding. He seemed out of his mind during parts of the band’s performance, but as this was day three of one of the most hippie-friendly festivals I’ve ever heard of, no one seemed to think anyone of it. They come off as men in love with what they’re performing, and that attitude was contagious throughout the crowd.