By Joey Grihalva
On February 16, I attended my first concert at the Back Room @ Colectivo while the cafe was still open. Fun fact: the Back Room is setup as such that you can hear the music if you’re hanging out in the cafe. However, what you miss by not being in the Back Room is an intimate atmosphere with great acoustics.
Madison based folk-pop duo Seasaw opened the show on the 16th. Had I just been hanging out in the cafe I would’ve missed the joyful looks that Eve Wilczewski and Meg Golz shared while playing.
I would’ve also missed the beautiful, sparkling, multi-colored sequin top worn by Wilczewski. Not to mention, I would’ve missed their sick Autoharp skills. All told, Seasaw delivered a spirited set before Indianapolis sister act Lily & Madeleine took the stage.
The chemistry between Wilczewski and Golz might convince you that they’re sisters. In fact, the ladies have been creating music together for more than six years, though most of that time they were living in different cities. Both are Illinois natives who first became friends while working together at an Italian restaurant in the town of Freeport.
Shortly after they met, Golz moved to Madison to attend the Madison Media Institute, where she received a degree in audio engineering.
“We were long distance for that whole time when we were starting the band,” Wilczewski tells me after their show at the Back Room.
“Then when I moved to Madison in the summer of 2015, it just so happened that I moved into a house that had a partial recording studio in the basement. We were going to record the album anyways, so it was very serendipitous,” adds Wilczewski.
With their infectious 2016 album Too Much of a Good Thing, Seasaw has emerged as a premier Wisconsin indie act. Last summer they played Mile of Music’s opening ceremony at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.
Seasaw’s performance at the Back Room was their fifth time playing in Milwaukee. However, they had a few more shows that fell through.
“Three times in a row we had to cancel in Milwaukee. There were either weather problems or sickness or car trouble,” says Golz.
These unfortunate events yielded an uncanny result. Seasaw ended up playing their first ever Milwaukee show at Summerfest. They took part in the 2016 Emerging Artist Series on the Johnson Controls World Stage. Seasaw won the fan favorite vote, awarding them gear that they now use in their live performance. Since then they’ve played Club Garibaldi, the inaugural Milwaukee Fringe Fest, and Riverwest FemFest.
Wilczewski and Golz’s endearing onstage banter was well-suited for a performance at Green Bay’s Meyer Theatre opening for comedian Paul Reiser. In their young career, Seasaw has shared a stage with Lucius, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, You Won’t, SOAK, Run River North, Lissie, and Dead Horses.
Seasaw kicks off their latest tour tonight in Madison at The Frequency. The tour will take them to the 11th annual Daytrotter Downs festival in Davenport, a Paste Magazine live session, Union Hall in Brooklyn, and a dozen stops along the way.
During their Back Room set Seasaw performed a stirring cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.” The ladies repertoire also includes “Dearly Departed” by Shakey Graves, “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy, “Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin, and “Stone’s Throw From Heaven” by Madison freak-folk legend Josephine Foster.
The ladies so enjoy doing covers that they formed a Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover band — with Golz as her idol Karen O — and a White Stripes cover band, which debuted last Halloween. They’re bringing back the Stripes band for a performance in Madison on March 25.
Seasaw’s tour kick-off tonight at The Frequency will also serve as the premiere of their new music video, which was digitally animated by Chad Smith. The video is animated in 3D and works with the old school, blue and red paper glasses. The day I spoke with the ladies of Seasaw their video for “Into the White” had just come out.
“I’m doing a dance routine that Eve doesn’t know, so she’s trying to mimic my moves,” says Golz.
“It was shot in one take so it’s like performance art,” adds Wilczewski.
“It’s got some great outfits and we’re giving it everything we got,” says Golz.
Sounds like Seasaw in a nutshell.