Every August since 2012, musicians and fans alike have gathered in the name of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis awareness during Gleason Fest.
The festival, now in its eighth year, was inspired by Spokane native Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.
Proceeds from Gleason Fest benefit the Gleason Initiative Foundation’s mission to help those with ALS and create awareness of the disease.
On Saturday, the Dandy Warhols, the Grizzled Mighty, Delbert and Left Hand Smoke will take the Lilac Bowl Amphitheatre stage in Riverfront Park during Gleason Fest 2019.
Here’s a closer look at this year’s Gleason Fest performers.
The Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols – drummer Brent DeBoer, guitarist Peter Holström, keyboardist/singer Zia McCabe and singer/guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor – released “Why You So Crazy” in January.
Not only is “Why You So Crazy” the Portland-based band’s 10th album, the release also marked the beginning of the Dandy Warhols’ 25th year together.
“It feels like I’ve been doing this my entire life,” McCabe said in a band bio. “Oh right, I have been doing this my entire adult life, ha. Time flies, don’t it? So much history, so much music, so many memories and so much of it haaaazy, wow, just wow.”
But according to Taylor-Taylor, it’s like hardly any time has passed.
“The weirdest thing about it being our 25th anniversary is it doesn’t feel like 25 years. Feels like about six. Or five,” he said in a statement.
Either way, the band is excited to share “Why You So Crazy” with the world.
Taylor-Taylor especially thinks people need the album now more than ever.
“We’ve always been driven to create art with emotional clarity …,” he said. “I’ve never felt so strongly that people are losing their minds, and it’s more of them than ever before. Local politics, international politics, news programs, sitcoms and our president all feel like the heat got turned up.
“It doesn’t feel like a natural progression of insanity, it just happened. Most people are behaving in a manner that can only be described as (expletive) crazy.”
“Why You So Crazy” follows the studio album “Distortland” and the live album “Live From Cowboy Christmas.”
The Grizzled Mighty
Anyone who has been following the Grizzled Mighty on Facebook or Twitter this year will likely have seen the Seattle-based duo of singer/guitarist Ryan Granger and drummer Faustine Hudson posting sporadic updates from the studio.
And it looks like the wait is nearly over.
According to a July 27 post, the duo has finished tracking the songs on its upcoming release.
“New album coming at you,” they wrote.
The new album, release date TBA, will continue the strong year the Grizzled Mighty has had thus far.
Earlier this year, the band’s song “Red Wine Cheap Cigarettes” was featured in an episode of SyFy’s “The Magicians,” and its “Band in Seattle” performance was included in the in-flight entertainment on Alaska Airlines.
Delbert – singer/guitarist Dominic Bartoletta, bassist Tyson Bickle, drummer Rick McQuesten, guitarist/singer Thomas Solinsky and saxophonist Jesse Thomsen – and Gleason Fest go way back.
The band, named after an avenue in Spokane, played the festival in 2013 and 2016.
Also in 2013, the band released the single “No White Flags,” which was “inspired by the positivity of Steve Gleason,” according to the band’s Facebook page.
Like clockwork, the quintet will once again reunite in Spokane (members live in Seattle, Portland, Spokane and Nashville) to honor Gleason and take the Gleason Fest stage.
Left Hand Smoke
Chances are you’ve heard Seattle’s Left Hand Smoke, the quartet of drummer Andrew Cloutier, singer Ben Mish, guitarist Will Mish and guitarist/bassist Ronan O’Mahony, even if you didn’t know it.
The band’s song “Blue Eyes Shining” was featured in an episode of “E.R.,” and “Step Outside,” which featured Death Cab for Cutie’s Jason McGerr, was a staple on Seattle’s 103.7 the Mountain.
Left Hand Smoke’s “Down the Road” was licensed for use on the Discovery Channel, and the song “Shine On Everything” was used in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
The band has opened for John Mayer and Maroon 5, performed with Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam during a benefit show in Seattle, and released its latest album, “Drugstore Love,” in December.
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