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The Sunset Tavern in Ballard is a venue known for cherrypicking young, new and otherwise obscure bands likely to, in a few years' (and sometimes a few months') time, explode. Over the years, its bookings have slowly veered away from folk and country and proceeded ever pop-ward, but one thing hasn't changed: this is the place to catch promising, up-and-coming bands before they get big enough to pack out places like Neumos and the Showbox.
With Tall Smoke. 21+.
With Ghost of Kyle Bradford and Locomotives. 21+.
Guerilla splatter cinema.
With Blue Eyed Son.
With Blue Eyed Son. 21+.
Not long ago, I saw some little band at The Sunset called the Cave Singers. I knew nothing about them except that Derek from Pretty Girls Make Graves was in it. It was, I believe, their second show. Plenty of clubs around town play host to local bands playing their first, second, or third shows. But something about the Sunset feels special, like you've been let in on a secret. With walls the color of pinot noir and an unassuming exterior (it's easy to walk right by and barely notice the place), the Sunset has a deep, intimate vibe, the kind of working-class-rock-'n'-roll joint where everybody knows your name...and if they don't, they'll know it if you go there enough times. Since moving to Seattle, I've seen countless bands play the Sunset, but the ones just getting started are usually the most exciting. The people in the crowd are mostly all band acquaintances, and the club's size affords bands the opportunity to feel as though they'd never left home.—Brian J. Barr
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