The KEXP performance space was especially packed on this day: I entered the room and saw the familiar faces of Grand Hallway, a local chamber-pop band that had visited our station before (it played our Yule Benefit concert back in December). But for this special performance, it was joined by six new friends, all members of the Seattle Rock Orchestra.
The Seattle Rock Orchestra is a wonderful volunteer-based group in Seattle that got its start in late 2008. An impressive 120 musicians are involved, all amateur or freelance musicians who participate for no pay — just for the joy of performing songs outside the usual classical oeuvre. The group has tackled everything from the songs of Radiohead to David Bowie.
Now it can add the gorgeous, heartfelt songs of Grand Hallway to the list. Together, the two groups performed two new songs and two old favorites, all with beautiful new arrangements. Like I said on the air that day, it was a special acoustic performance, and while that usually means stripped down, in this case, it's more like stripped up.