Seen: September Shows in Spokane

Spokane is often thought of as being an arts desert compared to the veritable musical paradises of Seattle and Portland. While this may still be the case for a certain caliber of touring acts, if you look around, Spokane has a vibrant and wide-ranging musical scene. Let’s take a look at a few recent offerings, both locally and further afield. I have included links so you can enjoy the music, too:

Hot Club of Spokane; Sept. 10, at Lucky You Lounge

Hot Club of Spokane is committed to the preservation of jazz, swing and blues music, particularly the style that’s now termed “jazz manouche” (previously “gypsy jazz”, also called hot-club style jazz). I’ve been following Hot Club around venues in Spokane since I first saw them play in 2007/2008 (they started in 2007) at Zola; I’ve always been impressed with how much dynamism and joy comes through in their shows. While I’m not always the biggest jazz fan (much to my husband’s chagrin), I make an exception for this band. Their shows have introduced me to some truly fantastic tunes and musical styles, to the point that I now have to say “I greatly dislike jazz, except…”. 

Currently, Hot Club of Spokane plays at Lucky You Lounge in the basement area on the first Saturday of every month. These shows often draw a pretty packed crowd, including amateur swing dancers and local dance clubs. 

Hot Club of Spokane features: Dr. Steve Bauer, Robert Folie, Mikaella Croskrey, Olivia Brownlee, Liv Tracy and Garrin Hertel. 

Hot Club of Spokane – Electro Swing “That Man” by Caro Emerald

Hot Club of Spokane plays at Lucky You Lounge on Sept.10, 2022.

P.O.D, Evanescence, KoRn; Sept. 13, at the Spokane Arena

For teenagers who grew up in the late ‘90s or early 2000s, all of these bands’ names should sound familiar, even if you haven’t thought about them in a while. Many of you are probably already humming “Freak on a Leash,” “Bring Me To Life” or “Youth of the Nation” as you read this (don’t worry, I am, too).

Sadly, I went cheap for this show and bought the $20 Ticketmaster “Return to Live” promotional nosebleed tickets, so I couldn’t live out my dream of moshing to these bands that make me feel like I’m 17 again. Regardless, this show rocked HARD. Amy Lee’s (Evanescence) voice is still as haunting and powerful as when “My Immortal” came on the radio in 2003, and KoRn’s stage and light show is a true spectacle. I may be too old and jaded to sing along with all the lyrics with the earnestness that I used to, but I feel like it made the little, rebellious teenager in me very happy. 

–(bonus points for the video featuring a young Aaron Paul)

Amy Lee (Evanescence) sings at the Spokane Arena, Sept. 15, 2022.

KoRn’s impressive light show at Spokane Arena, Sept. 15, 2022.

William Clark Green; Sept. 15, at Lucky You Lounge

William Clark Green is, according to his Spotify categorization, a country singer, but his songs and style paint a much more nuanced picture. His live shows are pure energetic rock, his songs (spread across six albums and almost 15 years of work) span the gamut from quiet confessionals to barn-storming bangers, and his lyrics give him away as a masterful storyteller. For example, the title track off his newest album, “Baker Hotel” is a slinky, quirky horror story, told through dark, swingy guitar licks. 

Live, William Clark Green puts on a wildly enthusiastic show. The crowd at Lucky You was dancing, singing along and consistently giving the band feedback to keep the joyful energy turned to 11. I had gotten my bivalent COVID-19 booster the day before, so I was still a little under the weather, but even my achy bones ended up dancing for most of it. 

William Clark Green and his band play at Lucky You Lounge. Sept. 15, 2022.

Heilung; Sept. 20, at Paramount Theatre in Seattle

Heilung is a Scandinavian folk music band that creates music based on texts and runic inscriptions from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking Age. They describe their music as “Amplified history from early medieval northern Europe.” They sing in a variety of languages, including German, English, Gothic, Old High German, Icelandic, Latin, Old English, Proto-Norse, Proto-Germanic and Viking-age Old Norse.

On first listen, Heilung’s music is almost unexplainable, but once it gets into your bones, it lives there like it’s always been a part of you. Chanting, drumming and deep, almost subsonic rumbling sounds played on instruments created from bones, running water, the chiming of weapons clicked together… Their music is an experience unlike any other. 

Live, Heilung is not so much a concert as an experience. Prior to the show, a shaman came out and saged the stage, the instruments and the performers. Then the show started with an English-language recitation of an opening prayer, reminiscent of the “Norwegian Rune Poem.” For two hours, the audience was washed-over with throbbing drums, hypnotic chanting and truly beautiful dancing. While I did not fully understand the story being told (warring tribes, a battle, a sacrifice, an ascent to the afterlife, peace), this was truly a show like nothing else I’ve ever seen. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while.

Heilung at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle. Sept. 20, 2022.

Heilung at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle. September 20, 2022.

As one of the music/band contributors for “Trending Northwest,” I’ve done the legwork for you and found (and will continue to find) shows in Spokane that rival the cool-factor of those in large metropolitan areas. I do, however, recommend signing up for the mailing lists to the Knitting Factory, Lucky You Lounge and other venues to get a heads-up about upcoming events. 

Even if you’ve just heard a band’s name and aren’t quite sure if you’ve heard their music, or if you read the description of an act and think “That sounds like something I might like,” this is my plug to you: Just go! You may find your new favorite group, and if not, you’re supporting local venues and artists, both regional and touring. This is a fantastic way to contribute to the arts scene in the area. Go! Listen! Dance! 


Upcoming Shows through September, early October

Listed below are some upcoming shows that you might be interested in. I have included a few of the songs that you may know, or should know if you were to buy a ticket. Give them a listen; Maybe you’ll find something that blows your hair back and gets you up and dancing.

The Front Bottoms with The Joy Formidable; Sept. 30, at the Knitting Factory

The Joy Formidable – If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

“Endtapes” was featured on the soundtrack to “Twilight: Breaking Dawn,” which means that without meaning to, a certain cohort of people have definitely heard this song, probably repeatedly. No judgment here; those soundtracks were great.

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

This song is so delicate, yet arresting. I really, really hope they play this live, because I will cry (is there anything more transcendent than feeling so washed-over by live music that you feel tears run down your face in the middle of a crowd? I don’t think so). Also, the music video is truly beautiful.

The Front Bottoms – If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

Maybe it’s just my particular listening habits, but Spotify really likes recommending this song to me. For months, every “you might also like” playlist ended up having this song on it… and not going to lie, I’m glad the algorithm was persistent. This song is incredible.

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

Possibly my favorite band of all time is The Mountain Goats, in large part because of their narrative, confessional lyrics. This song has a very “Mountain Goats feel” to it, and is an exquisite little example of telling a story through song. 

Matt Nathanson; Oct. 1, at the Knitting Factory

If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

“Come On Get Higher” was a college radio staple for years. The whole audience will be singing along with this, and my voice will be right there, caterwauling every word.

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

A number of Nathanson’s songs feel like when a ray of warm sunshine hits you on a cold day, and this song is an encapsulation of that. A perfectly pogo-able beat combined with lyrics both hopeful and melancholic: Pure catnip. 

Chvrches – October 2 – Knitting Factory

If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

This song seemed like it was everywhere for a hot second, including being used in a “Forza” video game. Its sweeping synth-riffs contrast with lyrics tinged in wistfulness and melancholy. 

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

A bonus track off CHVRCHES’ 2021 album “Screen Violence,” this song has a great, crunchy ‘80s synth-pop vibe with a driving beat. Absolutely one of those songs that will get me dancing around my kitchen every time it comes on.

Everclear; Oct. 13, Martin Woldson Theatre at The Fox

If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

If you listened to pop radio in the late ‘90s, you can probably still hear the chunky guitar line of this song the second you read the title. It’s a classic, even if most of us can’t sing the lyrics with the same emotional drama we yowled them when we were 14.

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

This song was Everclear’s first single, off their little-known debut album, all the way back in 1993 (although I didn’t discover it until the early 2000s). This song is delicate and poignant and, in contrast to many of their more well-known emo anthems (see above), continues to resonate with me as I get older.

Ivan & Alyosha; Oct. 15, at Lucky You Lounge 

If you know any song, you’ll probably know this one:

This jaunty folk-pop bop spent some time on the Indie radio airwaves a few years ago and shows up on many a Spotify playlist. It’s hopeful, it’s kind and it’s just a freaking pretty song.

The one I’ll be yelling for at the show:

You may already know “Easy to Love” (even if you don’t recognize the band name), too. It was the song that introduced me to Ivan & Alyosha, so it will always have that special place in my heart.

Ann Foreyt

Ann Foreyt is a lifelong resident of the PNW and they have spent many years taking enthusiastic advantage of the myriad benefits this area has to offer. They’re an aerialist, runner, craft beer snob, live music aficionado, and inveterate Cool Event hunter.


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