ALEX CAMERON — FEBRUARY 28 AT THE CROCODILE, SEATTLE

Grade: Solid B

I went into this show with absolutely no knowledge of Alex Cameron, and, honestly, that only enhanced my experience. Apparently, Cameron performs under the persona of a failed musician, which makes for a very paradoxical experience at his shows, as he’s obviously very talented, but almost pretending otherwise.

Let’s start with the opener, though, Molly Burch. Wearing a floor-length dark green floral dress with button sleeves, with her long, brown hair left down and free, Burch really embodied the aura of a 70s performer. She reminded me a lot of Joni Mitchell — not necessarily stylistically, but in the feel of her presence.

Keeping in mind that I was only under the influence of one drink at this point in the show, I found it especially appealing that Burch’s music just seemed to flow. There were distinctions between songs, but none that mattered. Her voice somehow carried over from one song to the next without creating any break in action. This is potentially the first time I’ve ever fully understood the saying “you could sing the phone book;” her songwriting was fabulous, but it also didn’t matter. I would have followed her voice off a cliff without even noticing.

Cameron, with his put-on bravado and creepiness (?), was a vast distinction from Burch, but drew you in in the same oddly-alluring way. The way he moved created a sense of being stalked by a predator and/or an Urusla/Ariel dynamic: you get the feeling you should run, but you also feel safe and loved.

Oddly enough, Cameron and the saxophonist, Roy Malloy — seemingly the two main members of the band — were by far the worst performers. But, given their “failed performer” aesthetic, perhaps they were actually the best.

The keyboardist and only female of the group was by far the most fun to watch. She radiated confidence, beauty, musicality, and sex appeal simultaneously, without being cocky, unreachable, over-the-top, or anything but real. In a word, she just seemed really fucking cool.

Honestly, this show was everything a show should be. It felt incredibly honest, and it was a privilege to watch. I didn’t attend this show; I experienced this show. It was full of life.

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