Photos by Nicholas Karlin, Words by Clarissa Villondo
When DC Music Download announced that the details about their two-year anniversary show at the 9:30 Club, I knew that I needed to find a way to go – no matter what. The bands are local and part of the proceeds went to help Girls Rock! DC. I had to go. More importantly, while all of the locals were fantastic bands, Drop Electric and The Sea Life are extremely special to me. Both bands, as well as DC Music Download, have been helping since 2012. That year, The Sea Life played my third anniversary show for Indie Bands with a Mission, which got enough attention to be listed in the Washington Post Weekend Section as well as capturing DC Music Download’s attention. DC Music Download had actually interviewed me back in 2012 to support that show. Later that year, Drop Electric headlined a show for me with Technicians, Drop Electric bass player Navid Marvi’s other band.
When Nicholas Karlin realized how badly I wanted to go to this show and he was confirmed to shoot it, I became his +1. It was surreal to walk into the 9:30 Club with him to realize that I was about to watch Drop Electric, The Sea Life, Young Rapids and The Raised By Wolves perform a sold-out 9:30 show. The Sea Life drummer Ryan Witt saw me before the show and we reminisced about a show he played for me with one of his other bands. Navid Marvi thanked me for having his band play with Drop Electric because that was when he first met them and he might not be playing with Drop Electric without that show. To talk to them and realize I had an impact on them made the night even better. I felt even more connected to the DC music scene.
Jamel Johnson hosted the show, making mom-appropriate jokes, bringing Adam Friedland, who played at Bentzen Ball last year, for a comedic song and told stories about being perceived as a bear. Every band acknowledged how unbelievable it was that they were playing that night. The Sea Life even took a selfie on stage using the crowd as their background before their set. Girls Rock! DC band Social Imperfections took the stage as well with an adorable song about empowering women and were so excited that they could play at the 9:30 Club again. Young Rapids kept the lights low, which made it more difficult for photographers to take photos but made it feel more like them playing a house show.
The experience at this show felt so local with everyone so connected each other. It was one of the best local shows I’ve been to in awhile not only because every band played an amazing set, which goes without saying if you’ve ever seen them live, but for how much it still felt intimate.