Waxahatchee played in Tacoma at Alma Mater/Fawcett Hall the other night, with Bonny Doon opening and later serving as her backing band. It was a wonderful show, and both acts brought a lot of energy and charisma to Tacoma’s newest (maybe best) concert venue.
Bonny Doon have a pretty laidback and pleasant vibe. Their music felt very affirming and sort of emotionally straightforward. Bonny Doon is also one of the only bands I’ve ever heard who could reasonably claim to be working in the same vein as my beloved Kingsbury Manx—turning out low-key beautiful songs that end up sticking with you longer than you’d think at first blush. Their set was fun and lively, and then they basically did a wardrobe change and came out to be Waxahatchee’s backing band.
This was the third time I’ve seen Waxahatchee (each time has been in a different state, weirdly). Katie Crutchfield’s set this time was a little more subdued than I’ve seen in the past and she seemed to lean a little more into the country and folky side of her songs this time around—the stuff from Out in the Storm was quieter and stretched out. She played at least one new song (that sounded fantastic), and played a couple tunes from the Great Thunder EP, which I hadn’t listened to at all. Some of those songs were familiar from their original release, but the way she played them live was so stunning—“Take So Much,” in particular, was incredible. The song seems (to me) like it’s about serving as a kind of unconditional support for a loved one who’s experiencing frustration and disappointment, and the way Crutchfield sings those lines, “Take it out on me, baby,” is gorgeous and haunting.