Beth Ditto, fans, at the Showbox
  • Josh Bis
  • Beth Ditto, fans, at the Showbox

It often feels gimmicky when a band holds out on playing their biggest hit, but it makes complete sense that the band formerly known as the Gossip waited 1 until the end of their encore to unleash "Standing in the Way of Control". The song absolutely destroys—Beth Ditto's voice transitioned nimbly from cover/sing-along of "What's Love Got to Do With It?" into the song's opening with a howl and the full house, worked into a floor-shaking, hand-waving, exhausted, applauding mess by the end. It's no wonder that the canny music supervisors at Skins chose the song to introduce the world to the best advertisement for never leaving English teenagers unsupervised. But, as Ditto emphasized ("election time ... is about our way of life") the song remains especially (and unfortunately) timely in this particular political season: it's a song that she wrote when she was twenty-five, now she's thirty-one and still singing about the same thing.2

The set was consistently fun—unstoppable soul-infused acrobatic vocals paired with a driving dance-punk heartbeat that began with a mini "Psycho Killer" cover that lasted for about an hour and a half; Ditto's belt and shoes lasted just one song. Throughout, she took more than a few moments for comical nose-blowing, chatty reminiscences3, birthday celebrations, and political forays. Mid-set, the audience roared with approval as drummer Hannah Blilie briefly paused to encourage a yes vote on R74 (Ditto: "Get to marrying, gays!" / "it's just like David Guetta says..."), and then promptly went back to losing their minds happily dancing until well after midnight. The last time they came to Seattle, Ditto was "not yet in her thirties"—let's hope the audience convinced her to not wait so long before returning.

Endnotes and more photos after the jump.

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  • Hannah Blilie

Hannah Blilie
  • Katy Davidson

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1 ... just as they did during their last Seattle show in 2009.
2 The song was written in response to the Federal Marriage Amendment.
3 Beth Ditto is a quote factory, made all the more charming by a sparkling personality and an accent with more than a trace of Arkansas remaining after more than a decade in the northwest: songs dedicated to Lil' Wayne (whose hair reminds her of her girlfriend), the benefits of renouncing vegetarianism (going to restaurants is so easy, dreams of a chicken strip club), etc. etc. forever and ever.