City Hall, Bright Weapons, Girl Guts: Aug. 23 at Make.Shift

Awesome shows are a great thing to behold, but when people can gather to enjoy a night of music to support a good cause it’s just that much sweeter. That’s exactly what happened Saturday, Aug. 23 at The Make.Shift as some of Bellingham’s most talented bands took the stage to raise money for DVSAS, an organization that helps people suffering from domestic violence and abuse. The line-up alone was enough to turn heads, but the fact that over $400 was raised for DVSAS made the night into something more.

Unfortunately I missed the opening act Deep Down, but I heard some really great things  about them from other show attendees and they seem like a band to really keep on your radar in the future.

I arrived at MakeShift just as City Hall took the stage. I’ve seen these guys multiple times but it looks like all the extra shows they’ve been playing have been paying off because their stage presence has really taken itself to another level. These guys have been in serious bands before so they’ve always known how to hold themselves on stage but this time it felt different – the band really felt like a cohesive unit and were at their most confident I’ve seen them live. City Hall’s sound is like a love-letter to all the best things of the 90s. Punk sensibilities shining through in their instrumentation is complemented perfectly by their emotive and unique take on what I would call indie-rock vocals. Both Casey and Luke’s vocal style are so unique, when put together in a song it’s guaranteed that the listener will never have anything to grow bored of. City Hall is the kind of band that can steal fans of any type of music’s ears and attention away.

Up next were dance-rock aficionados Bright Weapons. The last time I saw them perform was around the release of their EP Consent. I thought they were awesome then but they really blew me away with their energy this time. They sounded tight and on point, with bass so thick you could choke on it laying down the groove and feeding the need to dance while slipping perfectly into sync with the upbeat percussion. The guitar was light and airy adding atmospheric ambience when it wasn’t busy adding driving force to the mix. Vocalist Amy Gibson was shining at her best, perfectly crooning her punk rock anthems. Her stage presence that night was a sight to behold and really got the crowd fired up. Bright Weapons sound like they have been working hard and I for one am very excited to see what they have planned down the line.

Finally punk-rock superheroes Girl Guts made their way into the spotlight. This was a big night for the Girl Guts guys as they were doing a pre-release of sorts for their new album and donating all of the profits to DVSAS. I can say that Girl Guts really delivered with an awesome performance of tunes that’ll really blow your hair back. Girl Guts is a band that can aways deliver on a high octane live show, but you can really tell that they must have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their new stuff because the passion was really shining through – and it was something that the crowd had an easy time responding to. Not even a busted guitar string could stop their momentum as vocalist and guitarist Andrew Beer deftly changed it out without losing more than a couple minutes.

Girls Guts are sounding the most musically dense and sonically pleasing as they have ever been and it’s safe to say that Bellingham loves it as they had a crowd of people in the front, middle and back of the place singing along to almost every song. The band is hitting their stride and are offering a live show that everyone should treat themselves to at least once. Personally I think their future is looking pretty bright.

-Raleigh Davis