The Beat Goes On

Metal mania at The Shakedown

Pumping up the volume on State Street
December 6, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.
As part of the "7 Days of Metal" festival, Heiress will perform Saturday, Dec. 17 at The Shakedown. The bands in the lineup are a mix of local and regional metal favorites. Each night represents a mix of styles.
As part of the "7 Days of Metal" festival, Heiress will perform Saturday, Dec. 17 at The Shakedown. The bands in the lineup are a mix of local and regional metal favorites. Each night represents a mix of styles. (Photo courtesy of Heiress)

CDN Contributor

The Shakedown recently announced a big metal festival this month. I checked in with bookers Crystal McIntyre and Ian Cheshire to get the scoop on “7 Days of Metal.” 

Apparently, the two have been talking about this idea since the spring, but they finally made it happen by the end of the year. They’ve got five big shows lined up (Dec. 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23), plus a holiday bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 18 and a metal DJ night to wrap everything up on Christmas Eve. One pass gets you into all of that for $35 (the bazaar and DJ night are free).

The bands are a mix of local and regional metal favorites. There isn’t any sort of grouping by sub-genre; each night represents a mix of styles. Although McIntyre is obviously excited for all the shows, she mentioned Vacuum on Dec. 15 and Heiress on Dec. 17 as being reliably amazing, and Obsequies on Dec. 22 as a band that’s new to The Shakedown’s stage that she’s particularly excited about. 

The holiday bazaar will feature “holiday shopping for the weirdos in your life,” with records, art, crafts and the chance to get your photo taken with a Black Metal Santa. They’ll even have first-come, first-served flash tattoos from Sabbath Tattoo. If all goes well, McIntyre and Cheshire are very much hoping this can turn into an annual event, and want to “take it even further next year.” 

If you enjoy metal and are unfamiliar with the local scene, a pass to this festival would be a great way to sample what the region has to offer. If you’re already involved with the local metal scene, this is a fantastic opportunity to see a whole bunch of your favorites. 

On a different note, If you’re looking for some locally grown holiday music, I’ve got some choices for you there, too. First and foremost, if you’re looking for traditional seasonal hymns check out “In the Bleak Midwinter” by John Van Deusen, the Anacortes singer-songwriter who used to lead The Lonely Forest. The album augments Van Deusen’s achingly beautiful vocals and guitar with elegant string arrangements by Andrew Joslyn to create a peaceful, calming mood throughout. 

If you’re hoping to find something a little quirkier, check out “Snow on the Golf Course,” the debut single by a promising new group called the Neighsayers. The track combines eclectic folk/rock instrumentation, sweet harmonies and evocative lyrics. I’m excited to hear what else this group comes up with.  

Finally, if you’re in the mood to hear Christmas standards absolutely ripped to pieces and turned inside out, try Analog Brass’s new release “A Very Avant Garde Christmas.” The Bellingham-based brass band takes traditional melodies and uses them as the basis for all sorts of improvisations. 

Live music listings 

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., The Young Dubliners (Celtic rock)
Zeeks: 7 p.m., Open Mic

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Tenderpile Smile Aisle (“yacht jazz”)

Thursday, Dec. 8

Blue Room: 6 p.m., Open Mic/Jam
Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Ghost Light, guests (rock)

Friday, Dec. 9

Aslan: 8 p.m., BJ Block Trio (jazz/funk)
Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Tom Sandblom (acoustic covers)
Blue Room: 8 p.m., Bob Fossil, Antisocial Roller Skating Club, Idell Drive (rock)
Big Stick: 5:30 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Uncle Doug
DownTime: 7 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady and David Tondi (folk/rock/blues)
Fireside: 7 p.m., Free Harmony (classic folk/rock)
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Jay Irwin and the GP Sunsets (folk/rock)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Bellow Wing (cabaret folk)
Main Street: 9 p.m., Hot Wally Band (classic rock/country)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Rendition, Bill Horist/Dave Abramson/Neil Welch Trio, Sarah Yeats & Melanie Sehman (improvisations)
Mount Baker Theatre: 7 p.m., Whatcom Chorale performs Handel’s “Messiah”
Shakedown: 9 p.m., LipStitch, Bullets or Balloons, Girls Know (rock)
Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Kazmyn (singer-songwriter)
Vault: 7 p.m., Grüv (funk/jazz/blues)
Wild Buffalo: 7:30 p.m., Mason Jennings, (singer-songwriter); 9 p.m., Jantsen, Lotus Drops b2b Squanch, Lord Kuja (electronic)

Saturday, Dec. 10

Beach at Birch Bay: 4 p.m., Dial Up (rock covers)
Blue Room: 8 p.m., Paper Heart, Green Daze, Some F***ing Vegan (rock covers)
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Marcia Kester
Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Cozmic Sauce (funk/R&B)
Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Stardrums and Lady Keys (blues)
Fireside: 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
Gateway1890: 7:30 p.m., Ron Hardt
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., The Mighty Bayou Opossums (music of New Orleans)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Grüv
Jansen Arts Center: 3 p.m., NOEL Ensemble (Celtic holiday)
Menace: 3 p.m., Folk Second Saturday featuring Russel Thompson
Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., The Unknowns (jazz/pop/folk)
Shakedown: 9 p.m., Pallbearer, Mike Scheidt, UN (metal)
Skylark’s: 8 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady (folk/blues/rock)
Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., El Ten Eleven & Magic Sword, Mylets
Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., Groove Doctors (classic rock)

Sunday, Dec. 11

Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Devin Champlin, Dumpster Joe (folk/blues)
Kulshan: 5 p.m., Cardova (R&B/soul)
Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Mount Baker Theatre: 3 p.m., Bellingham Symphony Orchestra (holiday-themed classical)
Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Randy Weeks and the Silent Treatment
Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., Shook Twins, guests

Monday, Dec. 12

FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady and David Tondi
Foundation Lounge: 7:30 p.m., Open Mic
Kulshan: 6 p.m., The Dream Goats (folk)
Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Jake Shimabukuro (holiday/Hawaiian)

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Greene’s Corner: 6:30 p.m., Old-Time Fiddle Jam

Wednesday, Dec. 14

FireHouse: 7 p.m., Ann Reynolds (jazz)

Before heading out to listen to live music, check with individual venues to make sure the event is still taking place as scheduled. 

Jesse Stanton's music column, The Beat Goes On, runs Wednesdays. Email: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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