Did you ever think you'd see the day where sparse, down-tempo minimalism would pack out the Springwater on a Monday night? Coupled with tornadoes and hurricanes, perhaps these truly are the end times. Nevertheless, we partied like it was 1999 while keeping things totally chill as drone-metal pioneers Earth trucked into town.
Upon word of the Seattlites' tour stop, dozens of local bands reportedly clamored for spots on the bill, but Earth apparently gave very specific guidelines as to the type of bands with which they'd rather not be paired. No metal or stoner bands was the charge, with preference given to ambient or country acts.
Given the parameters, the lineup was one of the most seamless we've seen in a long time. Opening were locals Hollow Ox, whose dreamy shoegazer psychedelia met the first quota of the evening, while the country portion of the night was fill by—well, The Country Music. The band didn't always exhibit the twang implied by its nomenclature, but the mellow swing was in perfect keeping with the theme of the night.
We were already pretty certain of what to expect from this particular incarnation of Earth, but given the random smattering of metalheads, noise aficionados and indie rockers, we didn't know sort of reaction to expect from the crowd.
Rather than dipping back into the "classics," the band singlehandedly responsible for creating the tiny and remote metal enclave of drone-doom instead culled their set exclusively from their three most recent records. Notable among those three albums is the absence of anything remotely metal or noisy, and given the band's almost religious devotion to slow tempos, the set offered indie rockers plenty to cross their arms about. On top of that, the band was quiet—quiet in Springwater no less. But rather than find themselves lost in a din of chatter, Earth attracted an attentive and appreciative audience.
Sure, over the course of the hour set, some gave up the cause to address more pressing matters. On our way to the bathroom we overheard someone shout, "Fuck the economy. I'm giving plasma every day," while at another point a concerned female confided in her counterpart, "You know that guy? Don't tell him I puked on his dick." Perhaps that guy will never know.