Arts and Entertainment

Buffalo Thunder, Vashon High School band, to open for Seattle's Visqueen at the Red Bicycle

Visqueen is a well-known band with a legion of fans in Seattle and beyond.   - Courtesy photo
Visqueen is a well-known band with a legion of fans in Seattle and beyond.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

A beloved indie band from Seattle will play a special show at the Red Bicycle on Friday night as part of a new initiative aimed at entertaining and inspiring young Islanders.

Visqueen, a power-pop-punk band that has been on the Seattle scene since 2002, will take the stage at 9 p.m. First, however, audience members will have a chance to hear music made by talented Island youth.

The local opening acts, set to take the stage at 8 p.m., include Vashon High School student Skyler Ford, who will perform with his band, Buffalo Thunder. Three other VHS students — Madeleine Wolzcko, Julia Hanowell and Kiki Means — will perform as well.

The concert is being produced by two music-loving Islanders, Rob Bordner and Fred Strong, who are both parents of recent Vashon High School graduates. Bordner also has a daughter who currently attends VHS.

In a press release, Bordner wrote that he and Strong share a mission of “tapping into Island students’ passion for fresh new music, and pairing youth musicians with local bands that have promise to take off nationally, and giving them all a spotlight at the Red Bicycle.”

With Friday’s show, Bordner and Strong are setting the bar high for their new venture. Visqueen is one of the Northwest’s most popular bands.

The group is fronted by Rachel Flotard, a dynamic singer and songwriter who is also known for her work with Americana darlings Neko Case and Jon Rauhouse.

The band’s latest album, “Message to Garcia,” made several top ten lists in 2009 and received significant airplay locally on KEXP, as well as wider attention on NPR and other national outlets.

Visqueen routinely sells out Seattle’s major clubs and other venues throughout the region. They recently returned from a gig at the prestigious South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and will soon depart for a month-long East Coast tour.

Rave reviews of Visqueen’s music have appeared in the Village Voice, Spin, Rolling Stone and countless other publications.

David Schmaeder, music critic for The Stranger, recently described Flotard as having an “angelic voice, red locks, and ridiculously entertaining stage banter.”

A review in Spin gushed, “With sparkling harmonies and towering Les Paul riffs, it’s no wonder they’ve shared bills with everyone from Cheap Trick to the Donnas.”

Opening acts take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, April 23, at the Red Bike. Visqueen will play at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students, $15 for those 21 and older. Advance tickets are available by calling 463-5959. The show is for all ages until 11 p.m. and for ages 21 and older after that.

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