Ryan Devlin of Smokey Brights: Musician, Northwest Music Santa Claus. (photo: Tony Kay)

During the holidays, Seattle’s rife with great live shows. And those shows often include bills brimming with sharp local talent. But to stand out from the holiday-themed live music pack, sometimes it’s vital to give an audience something more than just great music.

Enter Seattle on Ice, which hits the Neptune Theatre next Thursday December 6. It’s an embarrassment of riches show-wise, with four strong local acts hitting the stage amidst a virtual Winter Wonderland. Artist Home faves Smokey Brights headline, with soul collective True Loves, winsome pop geniuses Cumulus, and energetic rising hip-hop stars All Star Opera rounding out the bill.

Smokeys frontman Ryan Devlin has had a significant hand in coordinating this year’s Seattle on Ice. And true to the season, Devlin’s as happy about the show as a kid surveying piles of gift-wrapped boxes under a Christmas tree. He enthusiastically shared the scoop on this very special night of music and merriment via email.

You having an event coordination background, is it fair to assume that you’ve had a hand in putting this bill together? What influenced your choices of bands and events?

Expect True Loves to throw down some sweet soul, On Ice. (photo: Tony Kay)

I’ve put on shows here in Seattle for years, and as a result, I think a lot about what goes into a good show. I can confidently tell you, this show is going to be really good. I first saw True Loves live when they teamed up with Industrial Revelation to perform in a concert series I was putting on with City Arts magazine (RIP) called Band Crush. It was simply magical and I remember thinking “The True Loves are the best band in Seattle.” Smokeys have been itching to play with them ever since. We’ll be collaborating together during our sets, too, joining each other for a few songs. We rehearsed last night and, while I don’t wanna give away any spoilers, I can say it is going to rip.

Do206 and STG are partnering with us on the night and rounded out the rest of the bill, adding Cumulus, who are also dear friends of ours and have a fabulous new album out called Comfort World (which you should go listen to right now). All Star Opera are the perfect funky, high energy, party animals to kick the whole night off. It’s going to be a stellar night stem to stern.

Alex Niedzialkowski will lead Cumulus though a Seattle on Ice set. (photo: Tony Kay)

This sounds like a pretty special, outside-the-box show. I’m assuming that there’s only so much you can spill/spoil, but is it possible to elaborate on the Projection Mapping, art installations, and other stuff? It looks like Sensebellum’s doing some work on the show–the Manatee Commune stuff they crafted from last year looks amazing…

This is more than just a concert thanks to Casey Scalf, the wizard behind Sensebellum Lighting. It will be a trippy, winter themed visual experience as the Neptune gets transformed into a living snowglobe. Do206 organized the Manatee Commune On Ice show along with Casey last year. We love a big to-do, so we couldn’t resist the offer to make the Neptune show “On Ice” as well. I can’t explain the science behind projection mapping, so the best way to describe it is magic: Casey and Sensabellum will use magic to magically make all of our nights more magic.


Any super-new stuff (newer than the most recent EP’s) that the Smokeys might bust out?

Yes! Expect songs off the new EP’s, old faves, and a few new ones we’ve worked up on the road that are too good not to share. We have one called “Madeline” that we wrote about Scientology after listening to a four-part podcast on L. Ron Hubbard in the tour van (shout out to The Last Podcast on the Left!). It rips and we can’t wait to share it with Seattle for the first time.

Can anything be divulged re: any seasonal-themed songs played by the Smokeys or any of the other bands on the bill?

This is less of a holiday sing along, and more of a pagan-light show Winter Solstice celebration. There is no rousing version of “Good King Wenceslas” in the works, but come prepared to dance, be merry, and make new friends. What could be more in the vein of the holidays than that?

[Tickets for On Ice: Smokey Brights and The True Loves are going fast, but can be purchased here while supplies last.]