For the second year in a row I found myself in the WaMu Theater for The End’s annual Deck the Hall Ball. This year on the bill were: Broken Bells, The Black Keys, Jimmy Eat World, Cake, The Temper Trap and Sleigh Bells. Jimmy Eat World and Cake have been around for years, and I practically grew up with them and Broken Bells and The Black Keys have been my favorite up and coming artists for this year so I knew I had to go. Not to mention that The Temper Trap has that song from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack “Sweet Disposition” that everyone was making a huge fuss over (me included).
I arrived early enough to catch the tail end of The Temper Trap (and they were fantastic, though I was disappointed that they opened with their song “Fader” and I love that song), missing Sleigh Bells’ set completely. Cake was on next and they rocked it, though half an hour wasn’t nearly enough to showcase them. Their lead singer was hilarious (as only expected) and left the crowd wanting more. They’re coming back in February and I fully intend to be there – if only in hopes to hear their older songs that I love so dearly.
The Presidents of the United States of America made a surprise appearance, singing two Christmas songs and announcing that they would be having a show soon. Then Jimmy Eat World took the stage and I was greatly disappointed. Apparently they’re one of those bands that sounds a hell of a lot better on a recording than they do live. I was pleased that they chose to sing “Work” (my favorite song by them) and of course they played “The Middle.”
Then all hell broke loose when The Black Keys took to the stage. They upstaged the “headliner” (Broken Bells) by rocking the faces out of everyone in the crowd. When “Tighten Up” started, everyone got into it and it was a raucous party on the floor. I enjoyed their set extremely and would see them again in a heartbeat.
Broken Bells took to the stage, and with their mellow and melodious sound they clearly weren’t fit to close the show. After “The Higher Ground” and “The Ghost Inside” were played, those who hadn’t already left after The Black Keys finished up left then. That’s not to say that nobody stayed to watch them, I did and I really enjoyed them, I just think the hour long set would have been better suited for either The Black Keys or Cake.
All in all Deck kills every year, and every year I get a taste of some really good bands that I would kill to see again. I keep kicking myself that I didn’t see Vampire Weekend this year when they were in Seattle because after seeing them for all of four songs last year at Deck I’ve been dying to see them again. Deck is quickly become a Christmas tradition for me, last year I went by myself and had a blast. This year, it was repeated. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.