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I didn’t think that seeing Bolt Thrower twice in a week was quite enough, so the day after the Portland show I jumped on a train and went to Seattle to see them one more time. The scenery on train ride was quite picturesque although whenever I’d see a small town next to the tracks I’d think of Twin Peaks which was filmed in the state. In fact after seeing some disused train carriages I got major chills up the spine (watch the series if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Bob

After several hours I arrived in an overcast and cold Seattle and made my way to the hotel which was about 400 metres from the Space Needle. Seattle is a nice town with interesting architecture but I was pretty happy to just jump in a cab and not bother trying to work out public transport.

I had developed a nasty cold after MDF and today I felt absolutely terrible from constantly coughing and was considering not going. But it was my last night in the US and we’re talking about Bolt Thrower after all so I pulled myself together. After lounging around for a while, I caught a taxi over to the venue which looked to be in a pretty happening area of Seattle despite all the bums/crusties around. I wandered around looking for some dinner and decided on a Thai restaurant which ended up being an awesome choice as I had the BEST crispy fried calamari I’ve ever eaten. I also had Paad Thai which was yummy but strangely sweeter than I’m used to in Australia. I strolled back to the venue where I met Aussie drongos Stu and Django and their mates from Aldebaran and Shadow Of The Torturer and we went to a coffee shop and I had a divine hot chocolate.

The venue was quite decent and had an upstairs viewing area that was pretty cool. I can’t remember exactly what beers we were scoffing but I think an IPA won out. First band up was locals Deathraid who played a heavyish d-beat style that seem to go down well. I only watched a bit but I swear I heard the singer yell “your mother sucks cocks in hell” during one song which was maybe sickness-induced wishful thinking. I could hear them from where we sat upstairs and they did a great job.

Deathraid2

I was more than happy seeing Bolt Thrower 2 nights in a row but Benediction was another matter and I only ended up watching a few minutes while I took some snaps. They sounded killer and the crowd were loving it but I thought that sitting down and drinking beer with mates was a better use of my time. Unfortunately the table we were sitting at was under an open skylight so it was a bit draughty which wasn’t helping my cold.

Benediction Seattle

Bolt Thrower put on yet another awesome performance and I think I really could handle seeing them live every week for the rest of my life! The sound wasn’t quite as amazing as the previous night in Portland and I felt like shit from the cold but I still had a blast. The crowd went apeshit and the stage divers seemed to be getting a good range. It’s always good to see stagedivers who know what they are doing instead of the classic idiotic moves of getting up there, being scared and just dropping into the crowd, or the stage hog “look at me I’m in the band” tossers. The setlist was fairly similar but War Master got another run and was the highlight for me. I had hoped to see Unleashed (Upon Mankind) or a different song from Realm Of Chaos but no luck. I was also surprised they didn’t play At First Light off their last album as that’s a corker and seemed to be a regular in their old sets. Once again the band looked to be really enjoying themselves and each night I saw them I noted that Jo Bench was headbanging the hardest. I think they finished with In Battle There Is No Law again (it’s all getting a bit hazy) and after saying my farewells I hailed a taxi and returned to my hotel. No late night boozefests tonight which was probably quite a good thing. I was very happy that the final band I saw on this trip was Bolt Thrower.

Bolt Thrower Seattle

The next day was my final day in the US and I did a bit of sightseeing around Seattle as my flight wasn’t until late afternoon. As it was just down the road from my hotel, I went to the Space Needle which has a pretty cool view although the real highlight was a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture display next door which was simply stunning.

Monorail

Glass1

Glass2

Glass3

I then did my classic manoeuvre of it-doesn’t-look-too-far-to-walk-on-the-map and of course walked way too many bloody miles to the Pike Place Market which is pretty legendary. I thought it was a bit crap actually but I did see a fish get thrown at a customer and had a nice fish and chips meal. Plus I found a boss comic store where I was sorely tempted to spend way too much money on the below Alien bust. I ended up just buying a small Simpsons figurine in blind packaging and got lucky with an Otto figure.

Alien

This trip I’d been distracted with the usual beer consumption and music shop browsing and hadn’t bought my darling Ann a decent present so I stopped by a jewellery store and picked up a nice necklace (better late than never). At one point the nice prim looking sales assistant looked at my shirt and asked me if I enjoyed the gig the night before! She had been at Bolt Thrower of course and was suffering some bruises from the mosh. Small bloody world!! I returned to the hotel and while waiting for a taxi to the airport I witnessed a bizarre spectacle. A strange tweaker who looked to be on various substances strolled in and started asking how much it would cost to book out 10 – 15 rooms there. He didn’t seem to give an explanation as to why he needed so many rooms but kept trying to bargain the prices down. He went on and on and asked strange things like if they would accept payment in pennies or dollar notes. I could see the poor receptionist rolling her eyes at me and probably debating about calling security. He then asked if he could be paid to haul away the old CRT TVs which were piled out the front for $5 each which seemed like a strange request from someone who wants to waste thousands of dollars on a dozen rooms. I really wish I’d taken a surreptitious photo of him as he had on a cheap suit, huge sunglasses and wild hair. I was a bit disappointed when my taxi arrived mid way through the shenanigans. After several stimulating and thrilling hours in Sea-Tac airport I began the journey home, the highlight of which was finally getting around to watching The Departed. Finally I arrived back in Canberra and was picked up by my darling one with a box of hot, freshly cooked sausage rolls!! Thankfully both the vinyl I bought and the spiffy beers I bought home from Portland survived the trip and I didn’t end up with a suitcase full of damp clothes and broken glass and records. Ahh life is good and I had a whole week to recover before spending 2 days in Sydney for the Evil Invaders festival!

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