To kick off Halloween weekend, Velvet Q played its off-kilter brand of avant-garde art-punk rock at Factory Luxe, part of the old Rainier Brewery complex off Airport Way. The last time I saw the band, its bass player Mallory wore an alien mask for just about the entire set. So for a Velvet Q-headlined Halloween party, my expectations for weirdness were high—and I wasn't disappointed.
Friday night, Velvet Q's Halloween-themed “There’s a Light in the Tower” show invited several local queer icons to perform.
I arrived in the middle of Danny Denial’s set, as they treated the crowd to their last record, called Fuck Danny Denial, while wearing a bloodied Halloween costume. At one point they cried out, “I need Yufi," the name of one of the other bands performing, to help them with an onstage wardrobe change. Throughout the set, there was lots of wiggling and writhing—on and off stage.
Up next, DJ Headwound put on one hell of a set. Donning a ski mask with a sewn-shut mouth, Headwound looked like something out of a Marvel movie. The music felt like old-school, traditional house; a driving rhythm for 45 minutes. The crowd loved it.
I had never seen Yufi perform before. Up after Headwound, the band dressed as characters from Final Fantasy 7—the PlayStation 1-era JRPG. They burst onto the stage playing covers of some classic dance hits, like “Everytime We Touch."
Every time I've seen Velvet Q has been a different experience. The band's sets tend to combine rock and performance art.
Before they played on Friday, all the lights went out, then a blue spotlight appeared in the back of the crowd, where their lead singer Rah was doing a silks routine. The band then jumped into their set. At one point, someone came from behind the stage in an alien mask and did a sort of burlesque performance—it was somewhere between scary and sexy.