Day two of Fisherman’s Village Festival saw the venue shift from galleries and cafes in downtown Everett to a quasi-industrial corner of the city centered around Scuttlebutt Brewing. With two stages and an adjacent Night Market that’s located outside of the festival entrance, day two was able to accommodate even more acts, from the jittery post-punk of Moaning and Omni to the energetic hip-hop of Travis Thompson. The free, all-ages Night Market provided a location for local artists to perform, with some of the more abrasive acts of the festival blasting everything from post-hardcore to heavy metal to psychedelic rock.
Before heading into the festival proper, Actionesse provided an exhilarating set of post-hardcore tunes augmented with baritone sax and trombone. The local band had a dedicated audience who pogoed and moshed along with angular riffs, shouted vocals and chest-pounding horn notes. Their sound was along the lines of groups like Drive Like Jehu (as evidenced by the bassist’s shirt) with the horns setting them apart from other like-minded groups.
Next up within the festival gates was Los Angeles band Moaning, who released their excellent self-titled Sub Pop debut in 2018. They played on the festival’s secondary stage, which was located within what appeared to be the shipping bay of Scuttlebutt Brewing.
Moaning played many songs from Moaning, including “Don’t Go” and “The Same” but much of their set included new songs. They played songs like “Make It Stop” and “Running,” which they’ve been playing at recent shows on their tour. While the band performed as a three-piece, additional instrumentation and samples were canned in to make their sound a rich, textured quality.
Next up at the main stage was San Francisco indie pop artist Geographer. While technically a band, Geographer is essentially the stage name for Mike Deni. He played guitars and synths and was joined by only a drummer. Despite the limited number of band members, they created a full sound punctuated by beautiful synth-based instrumentals and deep, sonorous vocals that split the difference between Zach Condon of Beirut.
Deni explained that normally Geographer tours along with a cellist named Joyce Lee, but she had recently had a baby and wasn’t currently touring with the band. Initially, the audience was spread out in front of the main stage, something that Deni quickly alleviated by insisting the audience “squish in,” to which they obliged.
The band played a new song, “Love Is Wasted In The Dark,” which saw Deni sampling a guitar riff he played, layering it over synth tones to add a bit of a rock edge. Other songs played included “Verona” and “Lover’s Game.” He concluded the set with a song from his new EP New Jersey called “Stolen Liquor,” for which he added a homemade capo made from a sock and the velcro strap used for organizing instrument cables. The result of his DIY accessory? A guitar shimmering guitar tone that sounded a lot like the sound The Edge has become synonymous for.
Back at the Scuttlebutt stage, Seattle DJ Chong the Nomad was performing her laid-back but danceable electronic grooves. Armed with a sample and – of course – a MacBook, she enthusiastically danced along with her beats, with a cat-DJ projected onto the screen behind her dancing along.
The headlining act on the main stage was up next and it was another Seattle-area artist, the up-and-coming rapper Travis Thompson. Along with a band that included a guitarist, drummer and hypeman/DJ, he proceeded to provide day two with its most energetic set aside from anything happening in the tight quarters and local familiarity of the Night Market.
After he took the stage following a short intro song, much like Geographer, Thompson told the audience to get closer to the stage. Thompson might not be the biggest name in the rap game, but he’s well on his way. In addition to appearing on Macklemore’s single “Corner Store,” he has also recently signed a record deal with major label Epic Records and has an EP and full-length in the works for the future.
He got things started with “I Wish” followed by “Father Forgive Me,” a song about coming back to your hometown, before which he revealed his parents were in the audience. “Bad Apples” followed up next. Throughout the set, Thompson interacted with the audience, asking them to put their hands up and wave along with the beat and asking the crowd to chant along “wassup wassup” in the chorus of his next song, “Say Wassup.” He also got the crowd to participate in the chorus of “Joyride” as they sang along “Take that, drive fast, total, repeat.”
Then it was back to Scuttlebutt for Atlanta based indie rock band Omni, who like many other groups at the festival have released music through Sub Pop. They performed songs from their 2017 album Multi-Task including that album’s closing track “Type,” as well as their recent single “Delicacy” on Sub Pop as a part of that label’s Singles Club. They also played a song from their debut album giving fans a smorgasbord of the angular rock band’s output.
ParisAlexa performed a set of minimalist, dance-influenced R&B. She performed along, setting up and triggering her own samples like a DJ all while beautifully singing over said instrumentals and even dancing a bit too. She’s clearly a well-liked artist in the Pacific Northwest: Travis Thompson and his band made sure to get right up front and smoke a joint while she performed. ParisAlexa isn’t a nationally-known artist yet, but that seems like something that will change sooner than later.