Ah, Springtime, the season of renewal and reawakening! Delicate new green grass appears through the muddy ground, tulips and daffodils and cherry blossoms pop into colorful life...and PUNKS return to rule the earth! Therefore, it could not be a better time for Tacoma, Washington's greatest export, The Sonics -- the best damn garage band in the world -- to return to victorious form. The band have just released an astonishingly-awesome album entitled "This Is The Sonics," their first new music in 48 years. Yes, that's F-O-R-T-Y - E-I-G-H-T, friends, and it is just as dynamic and powerful and fun as their original bash-'em-out records of the mid-'60s. How?? How is this possible? Are The Sonics magical warlocks who have discovered the eternal remote-control opener to the Golden Garage Door? Was it even possible that they could replicate this Sonic Tsunami live?? Well, I am here to answer these burning questions, having attended The Sonics' tour-opening show featuring Mudhoney and The Intelligence at Seattle's historic Moore Theater last Thursday night. READ ON!

My head nearly exploded in a (Sonics') BOOM when I heard that one of my favorite bands of the ever, The Intelligence, was going to open this show! What a pleasure to hear them play in a big hall with great sound! Fashion-forward and unusually-flexible Lars Finberg led the lads through a spritely set that energized the crowd, including several new songs that will be included on their own new album which, if it isn't released soon, will cause me to slump my shoulders and pout like a petulant child, which is maybe not the greatest look for a middle-aged woman. I love them.

The cuteness level in the Moore went up to critical mass when little Paloma Hernandez, look-alike daughter of guitarist-of-excellence Dave Hernandez, came over and hugged her papa.

I have a few 15-second video clips for you, too!

The Intelligence, "Estate Sales," Moore Theater, Seattle 4/2/15

(Click on the photos to enlarge and click on the Flickr set links for more!)

Next up were Seattle grunge gods Mudhoney. With the very first note, a great and thunderous rumble rose from the floor up, shaking my body from toes to shoulders as if I were being blown out of the top of Mount Vesuvius with lava and boulders and bones of ancient sacrifices. "Whoa," I went, concerning this sensation. The band delivered a heavier-than-osmium jam that got many of the ecstatic audience out of their seats, nodding in beatific admiration.

Mudhoney, Moore Theater, Seattle, WA. 4/2/15

As the stage was being readied for The Sonics, the anticipation was palpable. I caught snippets of many conversations as I walked about, how excited people were to be there, how amazing the new album is, how amazing, indeed, that in 2015, we are seeing The Sonics play for us. I noticed with a fair amount of delight that the crowd was made up young and old and all ages in-between, and that many of the youngest attendees were the most enthusiastic. Never try to tell me that rock 'n roll is dead, because I will kick you in the shin.

Dressed all in black, the band hit the stage with effortless, timeless cool, and proceeded to run through an incredible set that had the entire crowd up and dancing the entire time, cheering widly after each song. Nine new songs off "This Is the Sonics"  were performed and they held up absolutely just as well with the band's original classics like "Have Love, Will Travel," and "Cinderella." The lead vocal work from bassist Freddie Dennis and keyboardist Jerry Roslie was solid, solid, solid the whole time, and I was fairly sure at any minute that drummer Dusty Watson was going to spontaneously explode in a cloud of carbon dust and black leather, he was hitting so hard. Rob Lind's saxophone made for that classic Sonics sound, and I was thrilled to hear that he was just as badass on the harmonica. Guitarist Larry Parypa!!! should always have three exclamation points after his name, because he was that good, providing the crunch and noise with killer chords and inventive solos that showed he was well-versed beyond the ol' garage. "This Is The Sonics" producer Jim Diamond, who is my new hero, filled in on keyboards as well.

The crowd pretty much lost their collective minds when special guests Mark Arm from Mudhoney, Chris Ballew from The Presidents of the United States of America, and Krist Novoselic from Nirvana joined the band to perform. You've never seen a happier group of performers and people watching performers perform in all your life. If it hadn't been for the venue curfew, The Sonics easily would've kept going. No one wanted them to stop!

The Sonics, "Have Love, Will Travel," Moore Theater, Seattle, 4/2/15

Note to attendees: when I heard the band break into the first chords of a cover of The Kinks' "The Hard Way" (which is on the new album), I was that person who stood with both arms raised yelling, "YEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" at top-volume. One must represent.

The Sonics, "The Hard Way," Moore Theater, Seattle 4/2/15

How was it possible, you ask, that the band performed with just as much raw energy and commitment as they had in their youth? Perhaps a conversation I had after the show with gracious Rob Lind can shine a little light. He told me that it didn't matter to them where the show was, in a beautiful, prestigious hall like the Moore, or a tiny dive club in Berlin -- no matter where they go, they give it everything they have, every time. "It's all we know how to do, and we'll keep doing it until we can't do it anymore," he continued. I thanked him, for all of us, everywhere. Endless spring.

Because "This Is The Sonics" was released in "earth-shattering mono," I decided these photos should be in "eye-blasting black-and-white." With a very full heart, I also think of photographer Jini Dellaccio, who took all the landmark photographs of The Sonics back in the day, and who died last year at the age of 97. When I got to meet her a few years ago, I shyly told her how much I admired her work, and that I also took photos of rock n' roll folk. She then grabbed my hands in hers, smiling, and told me, "Never stop taking pictures," which brought me to tears.

The Sonics, Moore Theater, Seattle 4/2/15 Flickr set

Thank you x ∞ to Jen Stippich, Kitty Page, The Moore Theater, STG Presents, Mudhoney, The Intelligence, and The Sonics!