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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Music: keeping it local

I love music. Plain and simply. I love immersing my brain in the detailed, perfected sounds coming from my headphones. But there is nothing that compares to seeing an artist or band perform live.  

Part of the reason why I wanted to come to school in Washington (I’m from Colorado) was because I knew there was such a cool music scene and community here. Although I’ve taken many trips down to Seattle for shows, I’ve fallen in love with the venues and artists that come through Bellingham. This city has so much to offer in terms of arts and music.

When I finally turned 21 and was able to go to shows at the Wild Buffalo, you could bet that I was there at least once a week. It is my favorite venue in town, and they always have a great acts on the bill. Some of the best shows I’ve seen there were Nappy Roots, Joseph, Manatee Commune, Dave B, and Giraffage. A Seattle-based band called The Dip are frequent flyers, and I’ve seen them maybe four or five times there. Each time is just as fun as the last. Although I’ve loved all of these shows, nothing will beat the time my best friend Laura and I were front row for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Wild Buffalo. That night was UNREAL. I’ve been an insane fan of those guys since I was in high school, and to see them perform a bumping show to a sold out crowd at my favorite bar in Bellingham? Amazing.

The local music scene is so happening. From the Green Frog, to the Make.Shift, the Mount Baker Theater and The Shakedown, no matter what kind of music you like there will be somewhere for you to jam.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to see some local artists perform at The Shakedown. I have only been there for karaoke nights previously, so it was super dope to see full band performances. The night was dedicated to Vacationeer, a duo made up of Nikko Van Wyck and Jase Mitchell. The two recently filmed a music video for their newest single “Hip and Happy” and debuted it for the first time to the public that night.

The two introduced the video, as well as the folks who helped them film and produce it (local multimedia production company Talking to Crows). A projector screen was then lit up with soft blues and pinks and suddenly bright, snowy scenery. The video was filmed up at Mount Baker this past winter when it got hit with a bunch of snow. The song, as well as the video were very dream-like and included stellar and bright shots of Mount Baker wilderness. 

The guys then continued to play a live set. Van Wyck took hold of the left side of the stage with his guitar and microphone for vocals, while Mitchell played drums along with some vocals.

Let me tell y’all that these guys are so fun to watch. They captivated the stage, and were able to fill a space like The Shakedown with loud and powerful sounds that reverberated off of the poster-covered walls and ceilings. They have they type of music with a steady beat that keeps your head bobbing and feet tapping throughout the entire set.

One of my favorite songs they played is the first of their Glances Extended EP called “Unprepared.” It’s the type of song that starts out quiet and calm but eventually extends into a booming final chorus that was pretty epic to hear.

Throughout their set, Vacationeer’s sound was consistent, intriguing and lively. It was cool to be at a video release show specifically, to see artists’ work in action through film.
There was a positive vibe all around from all of the artists and the crowd.

I can tell that Bellinghammers love their tunes and I am very excited to continue loving and listening to music in this city.


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