When I found out several months ago that THIS show was coming to Neumos...

...THIS is what I did:

And then this!

And then this!

I mean, come ON! You regulars here already know that I love The Intelligence's smartypants snappypunk more than dogs love those dog-bacon strips. You know I love checking out cool local power pop bands like The Tripwires. You may or may not know that I think Reigning Sound is one of the best American bands of the last decade or so, and I've NEVER seen them live in concert before. So...RIGHT??? I lost my mind, happily. 

The Tripwires are a local Seattle band with an impressive pedigree: their members have been (or still are) associated with bands as swell as The Minus 5, The Young Fresh Fellows, Screaming Trees, and more. I get a vintage Nick Lowe-type vibe from them -- good-natured pub rock with a strong musical knowledge of the classic early roots of rock n' roll and a nice little edge. If you had them playing your house party, you'd be a lousy host because you'd never stop dancing and then your guests would run out of chips n' dip and would be left to eat pickles out of your fridge in hungry desperation. (As always, click on the photos to enlarge and click on the Flickr link to see more!)

It seems like it's been ages since I've seen The Intelligence play, since my preferred schedule of attending their shows would be "daily." But in any case, during this time they've launched a lovely new website, and a re-release AND brand-new albums are due soon, so this is all excellent news. 

It was by this point getting super-sweaty-summer-hot inside the packed-full Neumos, but I kept shooting and dancing anyway, but never at the same time because that's counterproductive to both efforts. Lead Intelli-Gent Lars Finberg looked like he barely sweat at all, which I find mysterious and slightly obnoxious. Highlights of their set were several new songs and the inclusion of the haunting "Techno Tuesday" from their 2012 album "Everybody's Got It Easy But Me," a favorite of mine that I've never heard them play live before. Niiiiiiiiice.

Reigning Sound tends to get thrown in the genre "garage rock," but that's not fully representative of what they are or what they do, although they garage with the very best of them. Singer-songwriter-lead guitarist Greg Cartwright has the fondest reverence for not only the grit, but the gloss, too: he shows an unerring pop sensibility honed from British Invasion cheekiness, girl group sweetness, and Southern soul, as if you synthesized early- to mid-60s AM radio into a single sound and brought it into today. He's not afraid to do a ballad followed by a shredder, and it all works. Merge Records has just released Reigning Sound's first new album since 2009, "Shattered," and you can and should buy it NOW!

I wasn't the only person goin' a lil' nutty over the band, that's for sure -- everywhere I looked there were faces of ecstasy just jammin' the eff out, singing along to every song, doin' the double hand-clap, pounding along to the thumping drums. I mean, I actually jumped into the air multiple times as "I'll Cry" started up, yelling and throwing my hands in the air, camera flying around. Just pure joy. Here's two of my fave Reigning Sound songs from the gig, thanks to YouTube uploader Jim Cox! FYI (for my mom, duh): You can see the back of my head to the left of Greg's knee, dancing, and shooting, and dancing!

Reigning Sound, "Straight Shooter," Neumos, Seattle 7/6/14

Reigning Sound, Neumos, Seattle, 7/6/14 Flickr set

(Reigning Sound set list photo by Kitty Page)

Thank you Neumos, Michelle Cable, Kitty Page, and of course The Tripwires, The Intelligence, and Reigning Sound for a fabulous night!