Lightning Bolt Live Show Review

There is something magical to be said about a band that can simultaneously make you feel like a boat about to capsize and like the calm within a storm — simultaneously like god with ten outstretched, flailing arms, and like an isolated Buddhist monk. That’s Lightning Bolt.

Healthy Times Fun Club – Seattle, WA – 4 October 2011

Lightning Bolt’s live show is legendary, and it sells out venues around the country for damn good reason. At once pummeling and meditative, their basslines and echoing, distorted vocals do their part to worm into your brain while simultaneously making your body crave movement. The duality it makes apparent within yourself can be described simply as remarkable.

After the duo’s performance at Seattle’s DIY all-ages venue, Healthy Times Fun Club, where enthusiasm ran rampant and vibes begat positivity (in a way only all-ages venues can do), I concluded that it was one of the best shows that I’ve seen in the near past — one that was just as good when I was being sandwiched amidst brainless bobble dolls and dodging crowdsurfers, as it was when I was off in my own corner, next to a wall dripping with sweat, entranced by myself.

(A million pardons for the steamed-up photograph.)

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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