Hiss Golden Messenger Launches Live Recording Series With ‘Wise Eyes’ Seattle 2022 Release

Stream/purchase the band’s February 25, 2022 concert at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre.

By Scott Bernstein Aug 4, 2022 12:04 pm PDT

Hiss Golden Messenger kicked off a series of live releases by issuing Wise Eyes: Live at The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 2/25/22. The 17-song recording is now available for streaming and purchase on both nugs.net and Bandcamp.

Wise Eyes marks the first installment in a batch of Hiss Golden Messenger concerts captured on the Hiss Mobile Recording Unit (HMRU). Bandleader M.C. Taylor was joined on February 25, 2022 at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle by the current touring lineup consisting of guitarist Chris Boerner, bassist Alex Bingham, keyboardist Sam Fribush and drummer Nicolas Falk.

The setlist for the Seattle concert included a career-spanning collection of originals ranging from tracks featured on 2012’s Poor Moon (“Blue Country Music”) through the 2021’s Quiety Blowing It (“Mighty Dollar,” “Sanctuary”). Additionally, Taylor led the ensemble on covers of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and the Grateful Dead’s “Bertha.” The latter ended the evening and was a debut for the band.

Hiss Golden Messenger shared the following in regards to the concert featured on the new release:

We pulled into Seattle on Friday, February 25th. We’d been on this particular leg of tour for about a month, and on the West Coast for about ten days. We were in good shape. Hiss had not been to Seattle—a town that has always warmly welcomed us—since 2019, and we were coming off a series of shows, including two nights in Portland, a gig at the Fillmore in San Francisco, and The Troubadour in Los Angeles, that were all sold-out.

Anticipation was high in the Emerald City. We were playing at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle’s University District neighborhood, a 1000-capacity venue built in 1921 featuring nautical, King Neptune-themed décor. It’s a rambling, rococo place, and the vibe was good from the moment we loaded in. While visiting our friend Tucker Martine’s studio in Portland the day before, we had been given a heads-up by Jessica of Deep Sea Diver and Natalie, Allison and Meegan of Joseph that the Neptune was within rock-throwing distance from a restaurant called Thai Tom that they unanimously considered the greatest Thai food they had ever had. They steered us right.

On a good night, Hiss vibrates the air at a very specific frequency, and I can hear that in this Seattle show. I can also hear all kinds of joy: The joy of the five of us onstage together, the inside musical jokes and the delight in making music together, and the joy of the audience hearing music that moves them, and most importantly of all, the joy of all of us in that building, everyone, moving beyond our worries and stress and anxiety for just a little while to make something hopeful together. We were all part of the performance. That’s a notion that really planted itself in my marrow after years of not being able to play, after feeling the futility of COVID-induced Zoom performances: We are all part of the performance.

Stream/purchase Wise Eyes: Live at The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 2/25/22 below with 50% of proceeds from sales going towards the National Network of Abortion Funds:

Hiss Golden Messenger will team with “a different organization doing good work in our collection universe” for each future release in the series.

Wise Eyes: Live at The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 2/25/22 Tracklist

  1. Lost Out In The Darkness
  2. When The Wall Comes Down
  3. Blue Country Mystic
  4. My Wing
  5. Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now)
  6. Domino (Time Will Tell)
  7. Cracked Windshield
  8. Say It Like You Mean It
  9. Sanctuary
  10. Mama Tried
  11. Biloxi
  12. Cat’s Eye Blue
  13. Passing Clouds
  14. Mighty Dollar
  15. Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer
  16. I Need A Teacher
  17. Bertha
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