New indie favorite Scattered Trees were amped up while performing at Sunset Tavern near Seattle this past Saturday, July 30. Traveling through the Snoqualmie Falls just east of Seattle, the guys were chummy and excited to be in the rainy city, which ironically turned out to be a sunny evening. Although the crowd was small, largely due to the Mariners’ baseball game, Seattle’s Torchlight parade, and multiple other shows on the same block, only a few lucky fans and patrons of the bar were in attendance at the intimate performance from the Chicago-based band.
Immediately, the show started off with an older track and then segued into ”A Conversation About Death on New Years Eve”, one of the nine songs from their recent release Sympathy. Although Alyssa Eiseland (vocals/keys) was absent, the remainder of the group, consisting of Nate Eiseland (lead vocals/guitar), Ryne Estwing (bass/vocals), Baron Harper (drums), and Jason Harper (keys/guitar/vocals), were able to captivate the audience with songs from their latest record. The showmanship of the band was authentic and well played. Eiseland would start out with his falsetto voice laying the foundation of the track in most songs. Estwing and Jason Harper would then chime in, breathing effortlessly the haunting wails for a few tracks, which was most noticeable in “Bury the Floor” and “Five Minutes”.
“Five Minutes” was the best part of the show that evening. Eiseland started out with the solo, echoing the soft words “I am right here…”. As he sings, the sounds of plucked strings on a guitar were heard in the background. Estwing and Harper then fall into place, wailing a choral medley which elevated the song to a thunderous tempo. Baron Harper took center stage with strong drum beats. On the album, before the last final seconds, the song drifts back to the softer refrains of the guitar being plucked. However, Baron Harper held the hypnotic beat until the band transitioned into the next song.
Another crowd pleaser that night was ”I Swear to God”. Eiseland stated that, while he grew up in a strict religious household, the song was a protest to not always believe in what you are told. Jason Harper was all over the keys, emphasizing the sounds of a church’s pipe organ. Jason Harper introduced their song “Love and Leave”, which includes a now infamous music video about a storm trooper who falls in love with a Jedi princess. It was a gentler tune that would make a perfect slow dance track for the most indecisive couples who teeter between loving and leaving. “On Your Side” was a light track that exemplified the entire tone for their album and show.
The show was a somber and light-hearted event. In 2008, Scattered Trees came, went, and called it quits. But born out of tragedy, they have banded together again to create an album that deserves our attention. The album and show became a saving grace for new and old fans alike. After a very quick and successful set, attendees were enthusiastic about wanting more from Scattered Trees.
To read the first part of our double feature on Scattered Trees, which includes a sneak peek at their forthcoming album, check it out here.