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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 7, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 14
Clean Bandit gets everybody moving at The Showbox
Arts & Entertainment
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Clean Bandit gets everybody moving at The Showbox

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

CLEAN BANDIT
THE SHOWBOX MARKET
March 31


Last weekend's Clean Bandit performance at The Showbox Market was one of the shortest concerts I've been to in recent memory, but also one of the most fun. The Grammy-winning pop-electro act entertained a sold out audience for just over an hour with songs from its 2014 album New Eyes and a few extras.

Clean Bandit is a trio, comprised of string player-vocalist Grace Chatto, keyboardist-guitarist Jack Patterson and percussionist Luke Patterson, although for Friday night's set they were supported by singers Kirsten Child and Yasmin Green, plus violinist Stephanie Benedetti. They opened the show with 'UK Shanty' and continued with a sprightly rendition of 'Stronger,' which sounded ten times better in concert than the recorded track. In fact, I was really pleased with the live arrangements of the band's songs at The Showbox, layered with added instrumentals and vocals for a fuller bodied sound; 'Come Over' is a bit flat when you stream it online, but it had so much more energy when it was performed live, almost like listening to a whole different song.

A very jumpy version of 'Cologne' got the crowd on the floor bouncing excitedly and featured a brief string solo by Chatto, dressed in toffee-colored tight pants with wide leg and top combo. 'Symphony,' the latest single from Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson, who opened for them, was performed beautifully with a series of illuminating blue lights flashing in the background, though oddly Larsson had already left the venue and Child sang the vocals on it instead, and quite well, actually. 'Extraordinary' got help from Green, who reminded me of an early Martha Wash with robust, soulful vocals.

Green and Child told the audience that their favorite song was 'Should've Known Better' before performing it, but it wasn't mine. It didn't do anything for me, honestly. On the contrary, I and everybody else in The Showbox got down to 'Real Love,' and even though the song's original featured vocalist Jess Glynne was MIA, Chatto alongside Green and Child did it justice. 'Rather Be,' Clean Bandit's hugely successful international hit, for which they earned a Grammy two years ago, closed out the main set, leaving the crowd in a feverish state, having danced and bounced the entire song. I was exhausted, but oh so happy.

For an encore, and to no one's surprise, Clean Bandit returned to the stage and played an electrifying rendition of 'Rockabye' that we all sang along to cheerfully like kids at summer camp. It was a fun ending to a short, yet solid performance by this rising pop-dance act.

As expected, Clean Bandit drew a significant number of young Gay men to its Seattle concert, some who attended with a group of friends and others holding hands or linking arms with their boyfriends. It was an awesome way to spend a Friday night, that's for sure.

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