The second annual Seattle World Tour featuring All Star Opera is upon us. This year, we have really focused on celebrating the history of the Seattle music and art community through memories shared about the historic venues and neighborhoods involved.
In the music scene, genre-blending bands are considered especially unique. In Seattle, the dedicated artists of one band that create these kinds of dope songs are members of an elite squad known as All Star Opera. These are their stories. DUN-DUN.
All Star Opera Reminisces About Music Memories In Seattle
Keith Gledhill — Bass Guitar, Vocals
Most Impactful Venue: It would probably be a toss-up between Columbia City Theater because that’s one of the earliest venues I remember going out with a buddy of mine to go see a friend play in some metal show. Granted Columbia City was not really developed the same way it is now or gentrified let’s say. That was like 10-15 closer to 15, probably over 15 years ago. The opportunity to play there with All Star Opera certainly is coming full circle. But also, Neumos is very significant too. ASO has played Neumos like two to three times, you could say, neu-merous times. *Cue rimshot*
Favorite Neighborhood: I would also say Belltown, and I think it’s worth pointing out that Leo, who did the artwork for that first project, has done a mural on the side of the Crocodile.
Carter Gyasi “Flow Carter” Gilbert-Bass — Vocals, Trumpet
Most Impactful Venue: I didn’t really go to a lot of shows when I was younger so really all of my nostalgia and experience is from the last few years. I probably would have to say Neumos. We’ve played a couple shows there, one of my, it’s not a fond memory I guess, but there was this dude in Dallas, the sniper who shot some people.
Anyways, we played a show the next day and I got to tell people to stand up and if you have an opinion or a platform, fucking say something about police brutality or if you see someone being bullied, especially like black on white or white on black crime. I’ve never been more terrified and exhilarated in my life to go on stage and say something. As many shows as we’ve done in other states, that one is one that will stick with me forever.
Favorite Neighborhood: Man, I’d have to say that Columbia City holds it. That place is near and dear to my heart because I grew up close to there – ish on 17th & Jefferson. There’s just so much culture there. I know so many good people over there. It’s changing a lot but you can still see the roots, there’s a bunch of black-owned businesses over there.
Sam “Oz” Osborn — Vocals, Dance Moves
Most Impactful Venue: I love all of these venues. One of the first ten or 15 shows that I went to, I used to go to shows wearing skinny jeans and a little sport coat, I was a little hipster. Me and some friends won a contest from 107.7 The End. We won tickets to go see the Strokes at the Crocodile. It was like a one night, couldn’t even buy tickets kind of show. A couple of our friends actually won tickets first, and then my mom won me tickets.
There was a group of us going and one of our friends was really bummed he couldn’t come. So, his dad came with him and then we met them outside and his dad was going to help him draw on a stamp with a sharpie – that’s some true dad love right there.
They’re waiting for us outside and like a random couple walked up to them and were like, “Hey we won these tickets on the radio, do you want them?” This was before Craigslist and you could sell shit easily online. So a whole group of us got to go and to see a band like the Strokes there was really, really impactful.
Favorite Neighborhood: Lots of good neighborhoods on the lineup with a lot of history for all of them. At some point in all of these neighborhood’s history, they’ve been or still are deeply involved in the arts community. I know that before Capitol Hill was the Capitol Hill that it is now, Belltown was that. It was a place where all the freaks and the artists hung out and as it changed people moved to Capitol Hill, now Capitol Hill is changing and the freaks and the artists are finding new places to be freaks and artists because the freaks and the artists don’t change, just the neighborhoods do.
I used to spend a lot of time when I wasn’t at the mall in middle school, walking around Capitol Hill and it used to be a lot more freaky and a lot more arty. A lot of my teenage years, before I could get into shows, was spent cruising around maybe hanging out at Cal Anderson. I don’t spend as much time there now but I definitely have a lot of memories there, plus my posse is on Broadway.
Briefly on Fremont though, we were out putting up posters one night and we met this guy that was talking about like they had been redoing the space in between the road and the sidewalk like all along 36th and like that main drag in Fremont, and that was done by like this one dude and his homie. Not the city, it wasn’t an art thing, these dudes were just tearing up the grass and putting in like little trees and art installations like all over Fremont. That’s just the kind of neighborhood it is. It’s like your quirky uncle.
Seth McDonald — Keyboard, Vocals
Most Impactful Venue: For me, my favorite stage is Columbia City Theater. I think it’s a beautiful stage, just a beautiful vibe there. My favorite venue though is the Central Saloon. The reason being, I grew up in a household that had band practice going on four or five times a week downstairs in our garage.
My stepdad who’s basically my real dad he played in this 90s grunge rock, kind of hip-hop influenced funk band called The Hungry Crocodiles. They would open up for like before Pearl Jam was Pearl Jam they were called Mookie Blaylock. He would open up for bands like Mookie Blaylock, he played a couple shows with Mother Love Bone, all of these like classic 90s Seattle bands.
The reason why the Central is my favorite is because I would hear stories about the Central Saloon in the 90s being the place. The way that the scene now is dying to get a show at the Crocodile or Neumos, The Central Saloon was that place. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, SoundGarden, all these different bands were playing packed to the brim like people crowd surfing the entire time shows at The Central Saloon.
Favorite Neighborhood: I’m a Belltown boy. We created our first project, Shifting States, together in Belltown at Purple Door Studios where I used to work at (RIP). I know the Belltown streets like the back of my hand. Gyasi, Keith, and I were down there recently for a show and we were walking around reminiscing, we walked by Purple Door and got a slice of pizza at Rocco’s. We just walked around the neighborhood like, man shit’s just changing but at the same time there’s still some remaining grit to Belltown that I just love.
Tylee Toyoda — Drums, Vocals
Impactful Venue: Personally, it would have to be Nectar just cause I probably hang out there the most. Also because it feels a little bit more intimate than like a Neumos or Crocodile show, but at the same time you still get pretty big name bills on the stage.
Favorite Neighborhood: I don’t really hang out in those neighborhoods a lot, I’ve been Lake City my whole life and it’s almost like I go into a tunnel to and from our shows like in Futurama. It’d probably have to be Capitol Hill though, just because I’m more familiar with it.
Will Greenburg — Guitar, Vocals
Most Impactful Venue: So, I wanted to give the most unique answer but for sure what memories come back to me the most out of all of these venues is definitely Neumos. I have a shirt that says “The Sword” on it, which is a band, its’ in kind of blue text, and it’s a shirt that I got at that show seeing The Sword like way back in high school.
Obviously, I haven’t grown since high school since the shirt still fits me. Especially as, I think I was 16 at the time, to go there and see these dudes up on stage and fucking tearing it up. It was such groovy metal and they just put on such a good show, that really stands out. The few times that I’ve seen BadBadNotGood at Neumos also really stands out.
Favorite Neighborhood: In terms of neighborhoods, I feel like I connect with a lot of parts of Seattle and I think that’s part of why I really like Seattle. Even having been able to live in other cities, Seattle’s just really fucking cool. Seattle is, and I try to remind myself of this a lot, in the entire world it’s one of the best places to live like right now.
That being said, I fell like Fremont is this weird, kind of teetering on the balance of different ideas of Seattle in that there’s a lot of rich people there but I still like to go there because that’s where the drinks are the cheapest for sure. There’s also like such a wide variety of food. It’s also the Center of the Universe.
So a lot of it is definitely economically swayed, but also like it gets busy but it’s busy with the kind of people I like. But like, I’ll go to Add-A-Ball and never expect to see a certain type of person there and that’s why I want to go there because I just want to go there to hang out with people that like pinball.
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This week, @respectmyregion.us & All Star Opera embark on the 2nd Annual Seattle World Tour. We have a special opportunity as a community to make a strong impact towards @marysplacewa and their #NoChildSleepsOutside campaign: •Each night we will be hosting a clothing drive for MP •Additionally, we are auctioning off limited edition Jones Soda bottles w/ local artists on them and all the venues on them •Plus, we will be selling official SWT tee shirts and all of the sales go to No Child Sleeps Outside •ASO will also be donating all of our show earnings to Mary's Place as well. Please help us spread the word this week as we work to make a citywide impact for an amazing cause and have fun while doing so! ••• If you would like to bid on the bottles, please visit the link in our bio ❤️❤️❤️
What impact are you guys hoping that the Seattle World Tour has? After this is all said and done, what do you want people to get from it?
Seth: I’m going to start with the dry answer and let people expand. So, I took a meeting with Dick’s Drive-In and in that meeting Saul Spady, the grandson of Dick Spady, he hipped me to some game that I wasn’t really aware of. If we are able to bring in like 10-15 cars full of clothes and like one to two grand of monetary donations, we would be in the running as like a mid-level local business, like Brooks and stuff, as far as charitable donations each year.
Last year, we weren’t able to donate our show earnings because of the venue cost. This year, in donating our show earnings and additionally raising money through merchandise, the goal is to raise a significant amount of money for Mary’s Place No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. Last year, we dropped off four carloads full of clothes, thirty bags in donations. If we could triple that this year that would be so cool.
The Mary’s Place mission is to empower at-risk or homeless women and their families. I’ve been homeless myself multiple times, but I’m not a woman and I don’t have a family, so I imagine those times where I was homeless, having a kid would be a total nightmare. So, I love what Mary’s Place is doing and will continue to support them until the end of days.
Another impact we hope to make is within the music community. We have 15 different artists and only like a third of them we actually even know. Ten of the 15 artists are just people that we respect and do completely different music than us. I hope it continues to break the ice on the Seattle Freeze. Showing people that you may have one idea of the Seattle music scene but us over here, we’re not going to live in that world of negativity and we’re going to do something about it.
Sam: The overall goal unifies everything that Seth talked about. It’s uniting all aspects of the Seattle community and the region for the ultimate goal of benefiting the community and the region. Bringing together businesses of all kinds and the arts, entertainment, and going through different neighborhoods and doing it all for a good cause for Mary’s Place and No Child Sleeps Outside.
I think that it’s very rare that different parts of the Seattle community come together. As Seth said, there’s different genres, different acts than we would normally be playing with and different businesses that we wouldn’t normally be working together with and we’re bringing together all these forces really just for a greater good of Seattle as a whole.
Gyasi: Last year, it was so rewarding to see people who weren’t even coming to the show who brought bags of clothes. The Fremont show at the High Dive, we had garbage cans full of clothes and people were breaking their backs to bring donations.
Keith: That show specifically had a couple of artists from Tacoma who brought up clothes and even the artist participation like that was encouraging.
Sam: Last year too, and we didn’t even ask for this, half of the bands donated their earnings to Mary’s Place. It’s rare in 2018 where everyone is isolated and kind of in their own lane, it’s really rare that everyone across all spectrums of the community come together and that is what’s really beautiful about the Seattle World Tour.
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