In an era awash in Instafiltered reality, it was the refreshingly honest lyrics that first drew me to Palehound on this non-Instafiltered rainy Friday night. It’s not that I’m against happy lyrics or think music has to come from a place of pain in order to be authentic. It’s just that so few of us are willing to bare our less than enviable thoughts and moments so unabashedly. Much less so on a stage. In front of so many staring eyes.

The Crocodile is the perfect dark and smoky (from the wood fired pizza oven) venue steeped in Seattle grunge (think Mudhoney, Pearl Jam and Nirvana) to welcome the band on this, their first visit to the city. Palehound fit right in. At one point, realizing her pick had broken, Ellen Kempner requested a new one from the crowd and a dozen hands went into pockets searching for the piece of plastic. Oh, and did I mention the guitar pick she’d been playing with was “acquired” from the Experience Music Project museum – where they’d played on the mock stage as “Tale of Two Kitties?” Seattle welcomes you!

And the fans wasted no time in making them feel welcome, joining in on back up vocals on almost every song. On their first show in Seattle. It was soon obvious that these fans came for the same reason I did: grungy guitar riffs, tight drumming, those honest vocals and achingly heartfelt lyrics.