“Kitsap County sucks”
This is what you will hear from most people in their teens or 20s who live in Bremerton, Port Orchard, Silverdale, and other areas of the county. It’s okay for me to say this, I am a native to Kitsap County. (I do have a point to starting off the blog with this, just be patient.)
There really isn’t much to do in this area. The mall gets old really fast and…well I guess that pretty much somes up all there is to do. In the time I have spent in Kitsap County, I have spent much time following the local music scene. Most bands that play in the area tend to either tend to be enjoyable because of just how terrible they are or they are either simple adequate for listening. Though bands weren’t always terrible, there was not much to them other than they were local.
To me, that’s why Alligators was such a special band.
I know I’ve already written a blog about Alligators but given the circumstances and the 4 years of my life I have dedicated to following this band, I feel entitled for at least this final elegy. If you have never listened to or heard of Alligators and you are still reading I commend you and hope you will get something out of this, because this post isn’t just about the music.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. for me, Alligators was always set apart from the rest of the Kistap music scene. Their sound was bigger than our borders. It was easy to tell early on. While the popular thing to do was screamo, they were playing pop songs. They clicked with me right away. I remember sitting outside, suffering through multiple hardcore bands just to hear them play a short set of catchy songs at the first of their concerts I went to. The room was dark, it was very warm outside, and most people had been scared away by the screams and guitar wails of the opener bands.
That was 4 years ago.
Fast forward to March 27. The band is playing their last show at The Charleston on Callow Avenue in Bremerton, Washington. After two opening bands the delightfully sketchy venue is packed to see the headliners give their final bow. For their final show the band decided to go big and play every song they had ever written as a band.
This was, perhaps, one of the most nostalgic experiences of my life. Every few songs I would just exclaim “Oh my gosh I can’t believe they are actually playing this song, that’s from when they first started!” This all may seem ridiculous, I mean it was only 4 years of following them. For a bigger band, 4 years is a short amount of time but for a local band 4 years is a lifetime.
Alligators was the one band to come out of Kitsap County that I had most faith in to make it big. They weren’t just another “pretty good,” band. They were original. Pop music. No matter what prefix you put on it, whether it be Indie-pop or pop-rock or whatever, at the core they were a pop band. When I interviewed them last year they described their music as “interesting pop,” and I think that gives a pretty solid image.
At the risk of sounding like a cheesy moral lesson from a Disney movie, seeing the whole community come together for Alligators’ last hurah was really moving. It made me actually appreciate where I grew up, if even just for a moment. Just seeing the electic group. It wasn’t just the typical hipster, American Apparel, flannel crowd you usually see at Seattle shows. It was just real people dancing and singing along to every word of the band’s songs.
In the middle of the set a good friend of mine came up to me, grabbed my shoulder and shoke my hand and said, “Thank you. You were the one who introduced me to this band.” And he was truly sincere. Alligators meant a lot to people in Bremerton and the greater Kitsap area. Now that they’re gone I’m not sure what is left of the music scene there but it doesn’t really matter.
The band had a semi-official motto/catch phrase. “We are Alligators.” Again, not to sound like a Disney or Hallmark Channel moral lessons, I feel like that night at the Charleson we were all Alligators.