On Thursday, the last event of the Verizon Wireless Coffee Shop Series this year was hosted at Neumos by local bands Motopony and The Maldives. Prior to their performances, the bands joined with fans for a VIP meet-and-greet and experience at Caffé Vita, where they took the Caffé Vita Brewing School tour together.
The purpose behind the Verizon Wireless Coffee Shop Series is, simply put, a way to connect community. Verizon provides vibrant coffee shop communities with exclusive concerts by local artists. There were also many chances to win giveaways throughout the night, as well as the opportunity to win a new phone if you donated an old cell phone to their HopeLine program, who donate the old technology to victims of domestic violence.
Indie-folk band Motopony performed first at Neumos, to a packed audience who poured in just before the dramatic band took the stage. Front man Daniel Blue wasn’t shy for attention; he demanded it. Even as crowd members became fascinated by his counterparts, such as the stylish Buddy Ross on keys, Blue would flounce back into the peripherals and demand notice be taken of his dominant presence. When Blue’s eyes weren’t popping and his expressive vocals weren’t strained for effect, he was brilliantly worshipping his bandmates on stage with his tribal dance moves. Their visual representations seem to clash with their pop-folk sound, but they’ve harnessed it as their own. They sported their iconic triangle necklaces which were for sale at their merchant’s table – hanging atop a cow’s skull surrounded by candlelight and dream catchers. As theatrical as their physical elements were, their sound was generally smooth for all ears and an appreciated thrill to start the show off.
The Maldives appeared next, ready to play us many of their admirable country tunes. Jason Dodson led the band through their set list, completed with support from the group’s lively percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, and of course, the banjo. The band projected authenticity throughout this fervent performance, as their focus was channeled into a rich live sound rather than reliant on gimmickry. Sonorous melodies were developed when nearly the entire band projected their voices into their sparkling crowd, a galaxy filled of red Verizon light-up rings. A couple slow-danced in the front row to a few of their delicate deliveries, as others opted for a hypnotic sway. Seattle has recently been noted particularly for our folk-rock and hip hop “sound,” but perhaps there is a new beginning upon us as the country produced by this sincere band cannot fail to resonate and instill a sense of relatable nostalgic pride in its residence.
See videos from The Maldives’ set and more photos below: