June 5, Olympia, Washington -- Capitol Theatre


From: Randall Hixson <rhixson@sunline.net>
Date: Monday, June 08, 1998 9:03 PM
Subject: Olympia & Seattle shows

I'm not really in the mood to type, but I'd better do it before I forget
about it...

The Olympia show was held in an old theater in the city's small downtown
area. It's an elaborate building with hundreds of seats, but the
Scarnella/Watt show was one of the Capitol Theater's backstage shows. The
bands play on the stage, of course, but the audience actually stands behind
the stage.

Before the show, a Castro-like Mike Watt held court with the local kids
while I did my best tour manager impression and asked Carla if they'd
brought along matchbooks for the keyboard. She laughed and said that she
hadn't, so we had to make a quick trip across the street. The man at the
biker bar happily handed over several books after admonishing us that there
was no such thing as a stupid question.

Scarnella played the same set as in Portland, but things went much smoother
this time. Nels broke a string and played with only 5 strings for the rest
of the show, later saying that he'd left his spare guitar in the van
because he doesn't play very hard on the Scarnella stuff, therefore he
hadn't expected to break any strings.

Unlike Portland, where a majority of the crowd seemed to be there to see
Scarnella, the Oly crowd was mostly young, male Watt fans. Some of them
were familiar with the Fibbers, but a few people were perplexed by the
performance. A drunk fortyish guy behind me grumbled that he should've
dropped acid in order to appreciate the show. A few minutes later he
proclaimed that all the drugs in the world couldn't make the music sound
good. His friend kept explaining that Nels was a great guitarist, but he
wasn't buying it.

Watt's set began with the complete Engine Room album. I was very impressed
with Bob Lee's drumming. I know some of you aren't huge Clawhammer fans (hi
Amy!) but he meticulously reproduced the subtlest parts of the piece with
great precision.

Nels and Carla were invited to join Watt's crew for the encore, and they
whipped out an energetic rendition of Tuff Gnarl. They nearly raised the
roof, and the crowd really got into it. Anyone in the audience who'd
wondered what that wacky duo were doing onstage earlier in the evening were
certainly put in their place. Nels remained onstage for most of the encore,
and Carla later joined him on Drove up from Pedro. Great show- I thought it
was the best of the "tour," and Carla agreed.

Elliott Smith Show Reviews this is a test Geraldine Fibbers Shows Scarnella Shows Other Stuff Janice Show Reviews