Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs at The Tractor 12.30.2010

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs featuring:

Star Anna: Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar

Justin Davis: Lead Guitar and Vocals

Travis Yost: Drums

Keith Ash: Bass

Ty Bailie: Keys, Organ

Opener: Kasey Anderson

Tractor Tavern, Ballard

12/30/2010

*Check out my post on Randomville for a more polished, condensed version.

Good Lord.  We weren’t even planning to go out that night, but we are so thankful we did!  Our neighbor and his wife invited us to go with them over a week ago, but I needed to get through the Christmas “experience” before thinking that far ahead.  I hadn’t seen or heard either band, nor did I have time to research before the day of the show, so I wasn’t very motivated.  Luckily, we had a slow and short day at work on the 30th, so I took a quick listen, and almost immediately fell in love with Star Anna’s voice and their country-rock twang.  She sounds a bit like Lucinda Williams without the slur, blended with Mindy Smith.

We had New Year’s Eve off, so I was out of excuses.  Let’s do it.  Our neighbors’ friends were also going to the show and agreed to take us all in their giant SUV.  We scored on parking in Ballard and found a two-buck lot just a block north of The Matador.  We got our names on the list at The Matador, and headed over to a little bar with swanky, expensive drinks, just down from The Sunset.

Our table at The Matador was finally ready about 8:30.  We were starving and chowed a day’s worth of Tex-Mex, chips and salsa, and margaritas.

It was getting late, and we didn’t get to The Tractor until almost 10:00.  I was trying to contain my anxiety as I thought about how we usually get to The Tractor by 8:00 or 8:30 in order to get our special left-of-stage perfect spot.  When we arrived, the place was packed, so we stood by the bar.  I had to crane my neck to see the opener, Kasey Anderson.  He was rocking the place, too, and I was disappointed I didn’t get to see his entire set.  He played two or three songs while we were there, and I tried to enjoy every minute.  We witnessed some great, energetic guitar solos from his lead, Andrew McKeag.

Kasey Anderson

I looked around the bar and saw Jeff Fielder, who opened for North Twin’s swan song earlier this year (I immediately purchased his CD afterward!) and then saw most of the ex-members of North Twin, including Tony Fulgham, Rebecca Young, and Tim DiJulio.  I believe some of The Tripwires were there, too.  I wonder who else was lurking in the dark tavern?

P scored again, as our favorite table cleared out after Kasey exited.  He grabbed it, motioned us up, and I explained to our friends how this was “our” table, as I caressed it and gently placed my drink on it!  I was also so happy I brought my camera this time.  I didn’t bring my notepad, but I survived.  I tried to just take some pics as well as some mental pics of the night.

The best shots were the ones I remember, the ones not captured in the camera’s lens.  Lead guitar Andrew McKeag with Kasey Anderson’s band had smiling grimaces and quirky body movements as he shredded his solos.  I managed to take a few pics of Star Anna, but she seemed shy to the camera and to the audience.  Her hair hung in her face.  The rare moments when she pulled her hair back out of her face, she let out a shy but genuine smile.  She has a beautiful, porcelain face with Elvis Presley eyes.  When she was hitting a high note, she raised up on her tip-toes and leaned forward into the mike.  Face to face, she and Justin stood close for guitar jams, and the two became a double-necked guitar monster of sound.

Justin had amazing solos, and fed body and soul into them as his guitar strings bent to his will.   Talented organist Ty Bailie sounded like Tom Petty’s Benmont Tench.  The properly attired bass player, Keith Ash had a strangely shaped bass whose brand we couldn’t figure out [see Comment below].  There was a blend of characters in the audience, from Ellensburg locals and students, the Ballard crowd, to gender-unspecifics, and, well, us: Bothellites??  No matter the cultural, sexual or geographical backgrounds, we were in united agreement that this multi-talented band ROCKED.  We were witness to something big; a band that was on its way to national stardom.  We were awestruck.

P grabbed a set list for me, and we purchased her first album, Crooked Path.

Set List:

High Water

Time

Hawks on a Pole

Shine

Through the Winter

For When I Go

Don’t Go Yet

Truth is Gonna Burn

Stumble

Spinning My Wheels

Bird Without Wings

Gold & Silver

Devil Don’t Remember My Name

Black Cat Blues

Space Beneath The Door

Wolves in Disguise

All Alone

After the show, our neighbor wanted to go meet the band, but I was shy.  He told me I should go, too, so I followed him over to the other side, where we got to meet Justin, the lead guitarist.  He was so thankful we came out for the show, and smiled his broad, friendly smile at us.  We thanked him profusely and loaded him with compliments on his guitarmanship and general awesomeness.  We tried to catch Star, but she was getting bombarded with other folks.  We worked our way back to P and friends, and I giggled like a schoolgirl.  He just smiled; he knows how much I love being a groupie and meeting the band.  We caught Kasey at the door, but we were being pushed out by the manager for blocking the entryway.  S introduced us, and I managed to spit out “…writer for Randomville!” before having to exit.

Dick’s on the way home.  Icy cars, icy roads.  Home after 2:00.  Soo worth it.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Ty Rockin' the Organ

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January 1, 2011 - Posted by | Concert Season 2010, Kasey Anderson, Music, North Twin, Star Anna, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, The Tractor Tavern | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. that would be a Gibson Thunderbird bass

    http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Bass/Gibson-USA/Thunderbird-IV.aspx

    nice review!

    Comment by Zombo | January 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] We just purchased tickets yesterday for Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs.  P and I saw them in December and fell in love with Star’s voice and Justin’s crazy guitar skills. Take a look at the review on Randomville and more pics on my previous blog. […]

    Pingback by Star Anna at the Tractor Friday 3.11.11 « Aplscruf's Blog | March 9, 2011 | Reply


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