Friday, June 22, 2012

Brite Futures Final Show

It's a sad but true statement that everything good eventually comes to an end. Last weekend I took the long drive (and by long I mean LONG) drive from Portland to Seattle to see Brite Futures (previously known as Natalie Portman's Shaved Head) play their last show, ever. The Seattle band, who consisted of high school friends, decided to call it quits after 7 years of being together.

I was originally introduced to Brite Futures by a good friend and was immediately drawn into their fun, hip, nonsensical electro music. It was a pretty bittersweet moment going to their last show- Brite Futures have been a huge part of my high school career. I had numerous dance parties in friends basements jamming out to their songs (usually "Beard Lust"). My old band also did a killer cover of "Sophisticated Side Ponytail", which sadly there is no recorded evidence of. I even found some Brite Futures lyrics on the counter in my school's photography room (pictured above)- I have yet to discover who wrote it, but when I do we will be BFFs.

Claire England of Brite Futures
I saw Brite Futures for the first time last year at Willamette University and while the drunk college guys weren't fun, their music and stage performance was (it was  the day before Easter and they had a crowd surfing Easter Bunny).

Shaun Libman of Brite Futures
After a couple agonizing years in-between albums, Brite Futures released "Dark Past" in 2011. While I was happy to finally have a new Brite Futures album to listen to, for the most part I was unimpressed. The band's earlier music was funny, stupid, and slightly embarrassing to admit you like (just see "Me + Yr Daughter"), though Dark Past, for the most part, felt like it was trying to be a little more serious (and by a little I mean a little, the album includes a song called "Kissed Her Sister", about kissing your girlfriend's sister by mistake). Still, the album does have a couple   highlights, including "Too Young To Kill", which was accompanied by a great music video where the band recreated popular movie gifs.
Luke Smith of Brite Futures

A group of friends and I, who could be described as the Portland Brite Futures super-fan base, drove up to Seattle to see their final show at the Vera Project, an awesome all-ages venue in Seattle that also gives classes and houses an art gallery. We got to the venue about an hour early and met some of the other super-fans, who were all impressed by the long journey we had taken to come to the show.

The setlist from the show- signed by a few band members.
After getting into the venue we were informed that the opening band, who I think were called Topless Gay Techno Dance Party (who, judging by the name, I bet are awesome) sadly got stuck at the U.S. border and couldn't get through. Instead guitarist and sometimes vocalist of Brite Futures, Luke Smith, came onstage and did an impromptu Dj set (which featured Smith trying to work a turntable and looking nervously at the crowd), but he kept the crowd dancing by playing Top 40 favorites like the annoyingly catchy "Call Me Maybe" and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)".

Brite Futures eventually came on to immense applause from the crowd. It was obviously the band was putting all their efforts into this show, seeing it was their last ever and they definitely didn't disappoint. Even though it was hotter than the burning pits of hell in the venue I and everyone else was dancing like it was the last time we would ever to Brite Futures, which it was. The best part was when the band "went back in time" and pretended they were still Natalie Portman's Shaved Hands and played songs from their earlier albums.

At the end of the show the band and audience moved outside and we hung out with them in the cool breeze of an early Seattle morning. They were all good sports signing countless items, ranging from wife beaters to sunglasses to jackets. We attempted to not be totally fangirls and boys, and we, for the most part, kept our cool when asking to have our Brite Futures sunglasses signed and a picture taken with the band members.

My friends and I with Luke Smith (center) of Brite Futures.
After the show we piled back in the car and drove back to Portland. When I arrived home at 4:30 in the morning the birds were already singing and I found it impossible to fall asleep. I couldn't stop thinking that this would be the last time I saw Brite Futures, ever. This was a band who I had listened to constantly, whose lyrics I could belt out in my sleep, and now they no longer were together. It was one of the first bands who had broken up during my life time (I still believe that I will one day see the Smiths, but for now I just bought tickets for Morrissey inNovember). It's definitely a weird feeling, when I was talking to the band after the show they all shared the same sentiments- like they still hadn't grasped that it was their last show. To get through all of this though I have just kept repeating to myself that they will all continue to make music and they parted as friends, not enemies. Oh and watching videos from the show in an attempt to relive it helps too.

All Brite Futures show pictures taken by Aidan, who weaseled her way up to the front of the stage. Check out her awesome blog here.


  1. I think we need to be friends...this band changed my life...I even have a tattoo of one of their songs on me!!! Lets hang out when I get back to Portland in September and mourn.

    1. You can add me on fb with that email!