Tiger Army Return to Seattle Co-Headlining with Indiana’s Murder By Death at Seattle’s Showbox, By Holly Homan

After about a decade in hiatus mode LA’s Tiger Army is back at it with a new album and new tour. I had the utmost pleasure of seeing them at Seattle’s Showbox on July 2, this time co-headlining with Murder By Death. I arrived just after Tiger Army came on stage and just before they lit into Power of Moonlight. Shortly after, they played their classic Pain, in which many in the audience crooned along.

Singer/guitarist extraordinaire, Nick 13 did a great job keeping the audience riled as he leaned into the crowd and often did a pas de deux with upright bass player Dave Roe while drummer Mitch Marine tapped, slammed and mutilated his drum kit.

Tiger Army’s sound is part psychobilly, part Johnny Cash, part roots rock and some good old-fashioned LA country mixed heavily in.

Since this was a co-headlined show, Tiger Army swapped closing sets with Murder By Death. The Seattle show had MBD closing, though personally I wish it had been the other way around.

Murder By Death seemed inappropriately named. I really was expecting some sort of death metal band, but was pleasantly surprised. By the time they came on stage about half those in attendance for Tiger Army had left and the club was maybe two-thirds full for their set. Those who remained were very familiar with Murder By Death’s music and sang along to many of their songs. Singer Adam Turla had incredible pipes. He could croon, harmonize and growl all within the same song with amazing range. Sarah Balliet played the cello with such haunting resonance it pierced the soul. Drummer Dagan Thogerson had an empty propane tank added to his kit. They explained they named said tank Steve Tyler because they often dressed it up in fancy boas. For this concert, however, Steve Tyler was nude. Murder By Death is a very eclectic band. I heard elements of folk, elements of pop, of rock and pretty much anything else. Sometimes one song could incorporate two or three genres, but other times one song would sound folky, then they’d shift gears for the next song that was more of a harder rock sound. They are amazing musicians.

Besides the aforementioned members, Murder By Death also consists of Matt Armstrong – bass

David Fountain – piano, percussion, mandolin, banjo, and backup vocals.

– All photos property of Holly Homan, all rights reserved.

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