This is it, the last call. The last show. And yet it’s a first for me; my first time visiting the Department Of Safety in Anacortes. The evening began with a brief drive along dark highways to the town known most, perhaps, for its ferry system connecting mainland Washington with the San Juan Islands. Eight years before, in 2002, the Department Of Safety opened with a show featuring performances from Karl Blau, P:Ano, and, among others, Microphones. This night would be quite similar, though also on the bill was LAKE and Arrington de Dionyso (of Old Time Relijun).
It was a sad ending. As Microphones’ Phil Elverum put it, Now where are we going to play shows in Anacortes!? But at the same time, there was plenty to be happy about. Department of Safety noted on their website that the project wasn’t meant to last forever. And it sure did have a good run. Besides, who could be sad about seeing Elverum perform as Microphones again? The bill, packed with a stunning array of artists, made everything all the more perfect.
As I stood waiting for the show to begin, I caught glimpse of Johnny Goss and Ola Hungerford of Dandelion Gold and Cock & Swan, who informed me of a new LP in production. But the evening was all about Department of Safety, and giving it a fond goodbye.
Over the next few days I’ll give each artist a good review; they all deserve it. But for now here are some of my favorite photos from the show. Pictured above: Microphones. Below, in order of appearance: P:Ano, Arrington de Dionyso, Karl Blau, and LAKE. All photos by Andrew Fenstermaker.