Written By Heather Dunmoyer
Years ago, I was an intern at the Fremont Abbey art center, and I remember when the local band Hey Marseilles was going to perform. I helped to create the poster and everything, only to skip out on what would have been an incredible, intimate concert. I missed out big time. Regardless, of the humble roots of Marseilles, from their basement, to the Abbey, and now a sold-out jam-packed Showbox show, there is a very evident reason for their rapid rise to fame and I’m so grateful they’re back in their hometown.
In January, Marseilles released their third album, Hey Marseilles, a bit confusing album name, but nevertheless, it’s wonderful from start to finish. Rather easy to listen to, and strikes the heartstrings from time to time. I definitely recommend their new album, but I’m sorry to inform you that it will absolutely pale in comparison to the live performance at the Showbox.
Marseilles is composed of five band members, and last night, there were eight different instruments that they utilized. I can only assume that there are even more instruments that these talented musicians are capable of. Matt Bishop, the lead vocalist’s voice is wonderful to listen to recorded, but live it has such a depth. Bishops voice melodically carries over the beautiful swells of the cello, and rich violin accompaniments. The combination of a slapping baseline, dramatic stringed instruments, and Bishop’s voice is a unique and talented sound that falls into the “Indie Folk” category.
The audience was enthralled and ecstatic to sing along and it was clear that there were some long-time fans. There was never a lull in the performance, and after an incredible show, the encore was in high demand. Bishop cracked a few more jokes, and stepped up to perform a new song written while on tour. I got goosebumps as Bishop’s voice and sentimental lyrics poured over the entranced audience. He ended the new song with a smile, beaming, “I know I’ve said it, but it’s so good to be home.” (In reference to his Seattle roots.)
After two phenomenal Bishop acoustic acts, the rest of the band joined and Seattle was blessed by three more encore songs. Definitely a performance to remember, and it was incredible to see the end of Marseilles tour in the city they began in. It was clear that both the fans and the band members were happy to be there. So thank you Marseilles, I hope you stick around for awhile.