Flight to Mars and Thunderpussy work Friday night Showbox crowd into a frenzy


Of course the talk of the town(if you are in or with driving distance of Seattle) this last weekend was the inaugural run of the Paul Allen’s Upstream Music Festival. We’ll get to that in the next review but there was also a very special yearly event happening with a few local heavies that were also participating in Upstream. That would be of course Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and the band that is collecting more and more victims(fans)every time they play and that would be Thunderpussy.

Thunderpussy is coming off of great week that found them not only playing Upstream but also getting signifigant coverage in Rolling Stone and although I’m sure some people are under the impression McCready had something to do with that, he told me himself that he in fact had NOTHING to do with it. Not that it would have been a bad thing at all or cheapened it in anyway but to know they did it without his help made it even more awesome. You can check out the Rolling Stone article HERE and by the way, the ladies now have music for sale and you can check that out HERE.

The hard-rockin’ purveyors of sweet Seattle sonic thunder excitedly took the stage a little after to nine to a near full house at The Showbox. If you’ve been at a Thunderpussy show before you know into the crowd is and how into the crowd the band is, both seemingly playing off each other, daring each other to go a little further each time. Friday night was no different, after each song ended, eardrum shattering screaming, clapping, stomping ensued until the notes of the next song drowned them out, then it was back to head-bopping, dancing, and swaying. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. All glorious night long.

The setlist include mostly originals, including a blistering version of the brand new single that is now available on McCready’s HockeyTalkter Records. To end their set, they brought Mike out and slung a guitar over his shoulder. With McCready up there they played a couple more songs including a blazing version of “Boys Are Back in Town” from Thin Lizzy‘s seminal Jailbreak album released in 1976.  By the time that was over the crowd was a hot sweaty mess and we still had the main event to go.


In between sets there was an auction(or as Rick Friel says) a Rocktion to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America: Northwest Chapter‘s #CampOasis as well as The Jennifer Jaff Care Line at Patient Advocate Foundation. Up for grabs was a print of a photo taken by “Iron” Mike Savoia from last year’s FTM show, signed by all the members. With the bidding starting at $500, Mr. Friel was able to get the bid up to $2,000, although I heard the person doubled it. Awesome stuff for sure.

When the intermission ended and Flight to Mars came out for the 15th annual extravaganza, the wooden floor of The Showbox was shaking like we were on a trampoline. The annual tribute to 1970s English heavy rockers UFO featured a smoking setlist with songs like “Doctor, Doctor,” “Love to Love” and “Too Hot to Handle” and of course everyone’s favorite, one of the greatest guitar driven rock & roll songs ever written, “Rock Bottom.” Although all UFO songs find the guitar featured prominently, there’s really nothing like watching guitar slingers like Mike McCready and Tim DiJulio just shred it to pieces and they once again did not disappoint.

The entire band left it all on stage with frontman Paul Passereli belting each song with vocals that were spot on with veteran bass player Gary Westlake providing the lower end. The night ended on a ferocious note with the “Cowboy Song” and “Jailbreak” from Thin Lizzy and “Let There be Rock” from AC/DC. As the band took their final bows of the night it was clear they’d had a blast and the crowd did too.

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