Aplscruf's Music Blog

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo at the Crocodile Cafe 10.22.10

Brent  Amaker and the Rodeo

The Atomic Bombshells

RA Scion

Head Like A Kite

Crocodile Cafe

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo


Last night was the most eclectic show I’ve ever attended.  Usually, bands are matched up with a certain genre or theme, but the show at The Crocodile, part of Seattle’s CityArts Fest, was something to behold.  Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, RA Scion, The Atomic Bombshells and Head Like A Kite took turns and sometimes combined their unique talents to entertain and energize the sold-out audience.

Before the big show, I had a chance to interview Brent Amaker (in character, mind you) via email, and posted it on randomville.  See the hysterical, R-rated interview here: http://randomville.com/wordpress/?p=9533

On the day of the show, we took time off from work in order to pack up, get Max to his doggie daycare, and make sure the boy knew his instructions for locking up the house on his way to his overnighter before we headed for Seattle.

We arrived at The Warwick Hotel around 5:00, after circling the block a couple of times to get on the right one-way street.  P said he got a good deal on a room, and the hotel clerk also gave us breakfast vouchers and free parking.  They’re remodeling and are trying to attract and keep customers.

We ascended to the 19th floor to the Queen Elizabeth Suite?!  OMG, it was gigantic!!  We had a separate dining area with a round table and four chairs, a desk and table by the window, then a sectional couch and TV.  There was also a bathroom and shower in that area and a bar/counter.  Our bedroom was through a door and also had a TV, large closet, giant bathroom with two separate vanities, and a jetted 2 person tub!  We stood there and wondered who we could call to join the party.

We went downstairs and had happy-hour appetizers and drinks Margeaux, the hotel restaurant.  We even got a bargain there:  bought two appetizers and got the third free.  We chowed on kalbi ribs, sliders, and bruschetta.  Yum!

We went back to our enormous suite and got dressed for The Rodeo, which, of course, included donning my black cowboy boots.  We hustled down a couple of blocks to the entrance of The Crocodile Café, right on time.  The security guys said no one was allowed in yet.  I pulled out my ticket and it said, “Doors open 7:00.”  He said slyly that they’d have to fire their intern.  Someone obviously goofed up.  So, back to the hotel we went.

We ventured back out right before 8:00.  This time, there was a small crowd forming at the door.  We moved in, bought a drink and sauntered over to a long bench on the left side of the stage.  The stage was about twice the size as The Tractor’s, and elevated about 4 feet.  There was a fairly large, square floor area and a small balcony.  P found his way up to the balcony, and motioned me to join him.  I’m glad I did.  He found a small, round table and two stools, right at the edge of the balcony, with a side view of the entire stage.  Perfect.  There was also a small bar up there, and other tables and chairs.

The crowd grew, and soon a hip-hop artist by the name of RA Scion took the stage.  He had a small turntable and another piece of equipment he used to change songs, sample, mix, etc.  He would get the song going, and start the rap.  He was really interesting and engaging, but the crowd seemed shy at first.  He had a good sense of humor, and begged the mostly white audience to please come in closer to the stage.  He kicked it up a notch and the audience finally crowded around close to the stage and waved their hands to the beat.  He picked up their energy and picked up speed.  It was interesting to watch the crowd grow and flow with the music.  P and I really enjoyed him.  He put out a very positive vibe.

There was a short intermission, and another man, Tilson,  introduced The Atomic Bombshells!  They are an old-fashioned burlesque act.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I just decided to keep an open mind and enjoy the evening.  I was actually thoroughly impressed and entertained.  Each girl had a separate act/theme, with names like Ruby Mimosa and acts called Hips Ahoy and “…better shakes than Dairy Queen.”  The first girl was all decked out in a red negligee, and had a big, curly blonde wig.  The strip tease ensued, 50’s style.  It was so much fun to watch her; I felt transformed to another era.  All the acts were tastefully done, playful and naughty, but never felt pornographic.  Lots of feather boas and fringed skirts and long stockings–and carefully placed rhinestone pasties.

After the fallen feathers, bras and stockings were picked up, the lights dimmed and a lone sign was placed on the edge of the stage that said, “Please Stand By.”  This is also the name of Brent Amaker and The Rodeo’s new album.  The background music was very dramatic and reminded me of a Hitchcock movie soundtrack.  The spotlights frantically swirled about, and then The Rodeo took the stage to the cheering audience.

Of course, Mr. Amaker was not present when his five cowboys started playing on stage.  He made a grand entrance by first having his attendant, Bunny Monroe, help him don his red satin cape while they stood on one side of the stage.  He strutted the middle of the stage in grand fashion as the cheers grew louder.  She followed him to the microphone, where he then removed the cape and gave it back to her in the usual Rodeo Ritual!

“Let’s get this show on the road!”  After a line of expletives from Mr. Amaker that would have made George Carlin proud, The Rodeo began their set of fast-paced, campy country tunes.  They added a cowboy percussionist and they have improved; the sound was tight and more complex.  The long set list included several new songs off their album (this was the CD release show, although I didn’t see any tables set up with their CD’s for sale—maybe it was on the other side of the room??) as well as some of our old favorites:

Captain of the Ship

Break My Broken Heart

Walkin’ In My Sleep

Girls Are Good

Tiger Inside Her

I’ve Got a Little Hillbilly In Me

Blood Dripping Blood

Man In Charge (With Bunny and Tilson)

Hammer Hits the Nail

I’m the Man Who Writes the Country Hits

Saddle Up



Sissy New Age Cowboy

Pocket Calculator


They really got the audience going by bringing out Tilson,  and he added some hip-hop flavor to one of the new songs.  While he was rapping, one of the girls also took the stage.  Cowboys, hip-hop and Bombshells.  You can’t get more eclectic than that.  The only thing missing was the ritualistic whiskey baptism.

Up next was Head Like a Kite, a small band with a very large sound.  I checked out a couple of their videos before the show, and I liked their style.  They have a great electric guitar sound mixed with synth, drums, and hip-hop.  Again, another genre-crossing band with a very danceable beat.  They were a bit loud for me, but kept the audience rocking and swaying to the pounding beat.  They were joined by a cowboy on percussion, an occasional Bombshell and other girls throwing Mardi Gras beads to the audience.  We stayed upstairs through the first enjoyable song, “She’s Wearing That Costume,” and then decided to mingle about down on the floor.  We were getting hungry at this point, so we reluctantly left after a few more songs.

We strolled up the block and hunted for open restaurants.  It was now approaching midnight.  We made our way to Tom Douglas’ Palace Kitchen and shared some delicious ricotta ravioli followed by Mexican chocolate cake with jalepeno marshmallow crème.  Oh, so good!

What a fabulous evening.  We got back to the room sometime after 1 am and collapsed, but woke up late the next morning and realized it was only Saturday!  I could get used to three-day weekends.

Check out cool pics of the show from Back Beat Seattle: http://backbeatseattle.com/wordpress/?p=34566

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Concert Season 2010, Music | , , , , , | Leave a comment