Date: Wednesday, June 17th 2015 @ 8:30pm
Line Up: Mike Pinto, The Sindicate, The Mystic Arrows, and The Lights
Venue: Nectar Lounge. Fremont, Seattle, Washington
Live: Mike Pinto Summer Tour 2015 @ Nectar Lounge. 5-30-15
The Storyteller, Mike Pinto, stopped in Seattle, Washington in the middle of his Summer Tour and The Pier made sure to get right up front for the show. Mike put us on the list and took time prior to his set to discuss his enjoyment of touring, his thoughts on acoustic versus band-backed performances, and how the Seattle show almost had to be canceled.
Mike Pinto has traveled the world touring the past ten years playing his own unique style blending reggae, rock, ska, and surf. He has sold out shows and built a fan base in places as far away as Guam, Japan, and most recently performed a two-day festival in Mexico with Donavon Frankenreiter and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds. But after returning home across the border to San Diego, he unfortunately found his vehicle broke-down and therefore unable to make the drive to the Pacific Northwest as originally planned. Lucky for Washington and very unfortunate for Oregon, Mike Pinto had to cancel his show in Portland, but was able to find a flight just in time for the Seattle show.
The current Summer Tour is being performed acoustic without any backing band, which prevented the Seattle show from having to be canceled along with Portland. When asked what he likes and does not like about touring and playing acoustic shows, Mike shared his enjoyment of light-weight and flexible travel when necessary, just like what was needed for the Seattle show to happen after having vehicle trouble.
“Unfortunately, the Portland show was canceled but I just had to come back to Seattle! So I grabbed my guitar, threw some clothes and CDs in my bag for the merch booth, and hopped on the plane.”
The flexible and light-weight travel comes with some pros and cons though. Although he was able to make the trip, he was also seen the majority of the night working his own merch booth without assistance. Undoubtedly making for a long night, the fans in attendance enjoyed the extra time to get to know Mike and enjoy a close, intimate performance.
The venue was a great location for this all to go down! Fans filled the dance floor in front the stage and enjoyed the open air, smoke-friendly, “epic” patio according to Mike. The venue has a wide stage with ample lighting, and a shallow layout in front that brings fans up close and personal with the artists. Mike played a late set going past midnight after solid performances from The Lights, The Mystic Arrows, and The Sindicate.
When taking the stage, Mike told the crowd to keep yelling out requests and played a custom lineup on the fly as the night went along. The crowd of course requested all our favorites…throughout the night Mike performed crowd requests from old albums, new albums, and even taught all of us his new single, Supply and Demand. Wednesday night’s custom set-list included “Tricky Nicky” and “One More Time” off the 2005 album Little District, “Temptation” and “Backburner” from the 2007 self-titled album Mike Pinto, and “Everything I Got” from the 2011 album The West Is Still Wild. And there were multiple songs from the 2013 album Truthful Lies including “Where The Beach Meets The Ocean”, “Tornado”, and one of Mike’s favorite to play live acoustic, “Truth Serum”.
It is always interesting to hear the differences between acoustic and band-backed performances of the same artist. During our pre-set discussion, Mike’s answer was understandably brief: “I miss the horns!”
Well, don’t we all! Although Mike has previously performed with members of the Slightly Stoopid horns section, he does just as well on his own! Songs that include horns on the recording (like many from the latest album, “Truthful Lies”) still sound great live without a full band. Listening to just Mike play acoustic allows fans to see his true talent and creativity in using an upbeat guitar, soothing voice, and his unique storytelling ability. He uses various tricks in place of the missing horns including guitar solos, whistling riffs, and “la di da” jazz-type scat lines.
Mike’s set that Wednesday night was just that… His creative guitar and vocals, with a few songs to close out the night with a local friend, Taylor, on the bongos. The stripped down set-list and close intimate venue provided the means to an amazing performance, and one that over-shot expectations for my first Mike Pinto show!
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Article and Photos By: Eric Schoep