By Melissa Messer
At the age of 24, I have only just begun to experience moments where I truly feel “old,” and seeing The Griswolds play the Crocodile in Seattle was full of those moments. I made it to the venue an hour before the doors opened, and was met with a line of youths wrapped around the whole block, many of whom were climbing up the side of the building to try and record the band on their cell phones during sound check. In fact, there were so many under-21-year-olds in the audience that they opened up the main standing room in the venue while cordoning the rest of us off on the side.
After wolfing down two pizzas (pro tip: The Crocodile is worth going to for the pizza alone), I joined several sets of somewhat unhappy-looking parental chaperons in the balcony as the openers, Wild Party, began their set. The crowd, mainly the female members, LOVED this band. I find it oddly comforting that even though it is now considered standard practice to hand lead singers selfie sticks, the youth of today are still doing things like throwing underwear onstage. After finishing up a solid set of indie pop goodness, Wild Party vacated the stage to an ear-shattering level of screaming.
A few minutes later, the lights dimmed and "Gangster’s Paradise" began blasting as the Griswolds took to the stage. Comprised of lead singer Christopher Whitehall, guitarist Daniel Duque-Perez, bassist Tim John, drummer Chris Riley, and keyboardist Lachlan West, whatever look comes to mind when you think “Australian indie rocker” is probably correct here, and the band wears it well. After a quick rendition of "Happy Birthday" dedicated to the drummer, they launched straight into the infectious synth line of “Right On Track,” and the audience screamed along with every word, which continued throughout the next two massive tracks, “16 Years,” and “If You Wanna Stay.” With a special shoutout to fellow scruffy Aussie rocker Vance Joy, the band covered “Riptide” in their signature up-tempo bounce, followed up by “Live This Nightmare” backlit by cell-phone light.
The set list closed out with the band's two most popular tracks “Beware the Dog” and “Mississippi,” the song that first launched them into fame, which was followed by so much screaming that most of the parents had to plug their ears. Thankfully, the band came back for an encore before anyone went deaf, closing out the dance party with “Down and Out” and “America.” To sum the night up: pizza is good, the youth are still young, and the Griswolds know how to throw a party. I hope to have my hearing back soon.