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Wednesday
Mar262014

Lorde ricochets from intimate to intimidating | Concert review

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb / Special to The Seattle Times

I didn’t show up to WaMu theater expecting to see Lorde deliver a rote, boilerplate performance, but at the same time, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a pop show that heartfelt.

It was the story she told toward the end of her set that did it. She was introducing “Ribs” one of the softer tracks on her debut album “Pure Heroine,” out last September.

“I’m going to tell you about this song,” she said.

She wrote it in February of last year, after her parents left town and she threw a massive house party. There was almost something mature in doing that — in filling a house with friends — she continued. “But once you do something that is adult, are you in that world forever? That concept is always keeping me up at night.”

I don’t know if she’s done that spiel at every stop on the tour. I don’t care. Impromptu or not, she made it abundantly clear in the space of a few sentences that she’s more emotionally candid than 98% of her more aged pop music counterparts.

Oh, and the music was great too.

There’s been some press about her live songs trending darker. That was definitely the case much of the time. The opener, “Glory and Gore” felt twice as fierce live, propelled by live drumming that gave many of her other songs (like “Buzzcut Season” and “Team”) a rock anthem texture last night.

Plus, she really seemed to dig the in-person percussion. Every time some nifty drumming coincided with a break between verses, she was dancing like someone possessed. She has a twitchy, manic dancing style reminiscent of the girl in the Exorcist, except it’s a good thing.

Other songs like “Tennis Court” and “Ribs” stayed truer to the atmosphere of J.D. Salinger-esque melancholy she cultivates on her album.

But my favorite cuts were the dark ones, the ones where she slowed the songs down, or plunged the bass into industrial electronica territory. Her version of “Royals” ceased to be a radio single and became an earnest declaration of independence from rockstar materialism.  “Easy,” her song with producer Son Lux, fused choppy drums, gothic synths, and nightmarish vocal distortion. These two were the most original cuts from the performance, and are hopefully portents of her future recorded sound.

The lighting and set design were expert too, building slowly from classy to flashy. Lorde performed the opener alone on stage, her black dress blending with a matte black curtain behind her. Overhead only a chandelier. The curtain lifted after that, revealing her two-piece band on drums, keys, and programmed beats.

Over the next hour, the set gradually began to explode with a rainbow of strobe lights slightly biased toward blues and purples, and a glorious 3-panel video projection system ensconced in a giant gold picture frame behind the stage. It helped to escalate the performance over time, taking it from intimate to intimidating and back again in a heartbeat.

Let me get cheesy one final time and discuss the audience. The front man for Lo-Fang, the opener, called us “the politest people in America,” and we earned that title. I was surprised to discover that the show was seated, but most people, and especially the vast passels of teenage girls with their parents, were respectful.

It was good to see so many youth amped about a musician that’s actually be worthy of being a role model. At one point, Lorde told the audience, “I noticed you’ve got seats — don’t use them.” Almost no one did.

Monday
Sep232013

AT&T enhances gameday mobile broadband coverage at CenturyLink Field

New 4G LTE Distributed Antenna System Provides Additional Cellular Capacity for Customers on Gamedays

SEATTLE, WA Sept. 12, 2013 —As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced wireless devices and services, AT&T* has expanded its mobile Internet coverage at CenturyLink Field by completing the installation of a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to enhance the customer experience throughout the facility.

A DAS installation consists of multiple strategically-placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout CenturyLink Field, providing for more efficient management of cellular capacity in heavily-trafficked areas, such as sports venues.  DAS has the ability to provide enhanced, consistent cellular coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations – terrain, building construction, etc. – or crowd density might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.

The CenturyLink Field DAS installation is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP), a three-year investment plan announced last fall to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. Through this investment, AT&T is supporting its customers’ growing desire for new mobile, app and cloud-based services. As part of Project VIP, AT&T plans to add more than 1,000 DAS nationwide by year-end 2015, as well as more than 10,000 macro cell sites, and deploy more than 40,000 small cells, to increase the density of its wireless network.

“We would like to thank AT&T, our contracted service provider, for implementing a neutral hosted DAS with the opportunity for all willing carriers to participate” said Chip Suttles, Vice President of Technology. “Increased connectivity is in line with our objectives to enhance the fan experience for Seahawks and Sounders FC fans”.

“When our customers head out to the stadium to cheer on the home team, we want them to have a great network experience throughout the game,” said Bob Bass, Washington President, AT&T. “With initiatives like Project VIP, we’re continuing to invest in the network, and providing enhanced cellular coverage at CenturyLink Field is just one way that we’re investing in Washington.”

DAS technology helps improve the mobile Internet experience by shortening the distance a request must travel. The additional capacity also is expected to help improve call reliability, boost data traffic capacity and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices.

These investments help to ensure that Washington residents continue to enjoy the best possible experience over the AT&T network, whether at home, at work or on the go.  The great performance of AT&T’s 4G LTE network continues to be validated:

  • AT&T has the fastest and now most reliable 4G LTE network.**  According to independent third-party data, AT&T has the highest success rate for delivering mobile content across nationwide 4G LTE networks.
  • Meanwhile, our 4G LTE service was recognized as having faster average download and upload speeds than any of our competitors in PCWorld/TechHive’s most recent 20-market speed tests – the second consecutive year that AT&T has ranked 1st overall.  PCWorld/TechHive also ranked AT&T’s as the fastest combination of 3G and 4G services in the 20 cities it tested.***
  • And AT&T was named America’s fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine’s 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study – sweeping the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.****

In addition, RootMetrics® has awarded AT&T for strongest overall call, text, and data performance in 66 of 125 national markets from January through June of this year *****

Across Washington, AT&T’s 2013 investments have resulted in expansion and enhancement of our 4G LTE network, which provides ultra-fast speeds.  AT&T 4G LTE is now available in in the greater Seattle metropolitan area.

In the first half of 2013, AT&T invested nearly $250 million in its wireless and wired network in Washington.  The investment resulted in activation of 4G LTE in multiple cities and towns throughout Washington, including Aberdeen, Anacortes, Bellingham, Bremerton, Burley, Camano Island, Centralia, Ephrata, Everett Gig Harbor, Kent, Longview, Moses Lake, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Othello, Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, Pullman, Shelton, Silverdale Spokane, Tacoma, the Tri-Cities area, Vancouver, Whidbey Island, Winslow and Yakima.  Nationwide, more than 225 million Americans have access to AT&T 4G LTE service. 

AT&T’s focus to deliver the best possible mobile Internet experience goes beyond 4G to embrace additional connection technologies. AT&T operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network****** including more than 32,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers, and provides access to more than 402,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. Most AT&T smartphone customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly wireless data plans.

Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into its wireless and wireline networks across the country. By year-end 2013, AT&T expects to cover nearly 270 million people and 400 markets with its 4G LTE network.  Since 2008, AT&T has invested more capital into the U.S. economy than any other public company. In a July 2012 report, the Progressive Policy Institute ranked AT&T No. 1 on its list of U.S. “Investment Heroes.”

For more information about AT&T’s coverage in Washington or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer.  For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

** Speed claim based on comparison of national carriers' average 4G LTE download speeds for AndroidTM and Windows smartphones and iPhone 5. Reliability claim compares data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. Limited 4G LTE availability in select markets. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. 4G speeds not available everywhere.

*** PCWorld/TechHive, May 23, 2013, “AT&T clocks best overall speeds with 3G/4G combo”

**** PC Magazine, June 17, 2013; http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420333,00.asp

***** Visit rootmetrics.com for more details. Performance rankings of four national wireless carriers rely on scores calculated from random samples. AT&T ranked highest or shared the highest ranking for overall performance in 66 of 125 markets tested, January-June 2013. Your experiences may vary. The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of AT&T.

****** A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.

Friday
Aug162013

Seahawks and Sportservice Add More Local Flavor and Variety to Game Day Menus

RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle Seahawks and Sportservice today unveiled new, broader CenturyLink Field menus that feature several celebrated tastes of Seattle from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, McCoy's Firehouse, Kau Kau and Uli's Famous Sausage.

Sportservice chefs previewed new menu items during a tasting held for members of the regional news media Friday in the new Brougham Beer Hall at CenturyLink Field. The tasting featured many of the new menu items developed for general concessions by Sportservice for the upcoming Seahawks season, as well as selections from new suite and club menus.

In March, Sportservice began operations as the new exclusive food and beverage services provider at CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and the WaMu Theater.
"Sportservice has already demonstrated that it will provide excellent quality and a wide variety of food and beverage choices to our fans at CenturyLink Field," said Seahawks President Peter McLoughlin.

Sportservice's culinary team visited dozens of local restaurants and food purveyors to learn more about Seattle and the region's tastes before developing the new menus and food concepts.

"We've really infused the new menus with some of the best tastes of Seattle, focusing on signature items from some well-known local restaurants and fresh, locally-produced ingredients," said Eric Kornbluth, Sportservice's general manager at CenturyLink Field. "We're looking forward to serving Seahawks fans some great dishes from our local partners."

These new signature items will be among the menu items available in general concessions:

Fried Cotto Salami Sandwich from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats - Sportservice will use Salumi's homemade Cotto, flavorful hot salami seasoned with garlic and black peppercorns, served on bread from local bakery Macrina. Located in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square, the Italian deli features an array of gourmet meats and handmade specialties. Husband and wife Armandino and Marilyn Batali opened the storefront in 1999. Since then, Salumi's has grown to be a popular destination for weekday lunch, wholesale meats and event catering.

Smoked BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich from McCoy's Firehouse - Another Pioneer Square eatery, McCoy's operates in a historic and charming brick building that has been standing for more than 120 years. The restaurant, adorned with firefighter memorabilia since opening in 1998, features juicy burgers, hand-cut steaks and crispy chicken wings. Sportservice will serve the brisket sandwich with McCoy's own Firehouse barbeque sauce.

Uli's Famous Sausage - Sportservice will serve a new Tailgater sausage created exclusively for CenturyLink Field by Uli's Famous Sausage. The sausage will be made fresh at Uli's location at the Pike Place Market and then grilled and served by Sportservice. Uli Lengenberg, who founded Uli's a few years ago, is a specially trained and certified Meister from Westphalia Germany, an area known locally as "Sausage Country."

Kau Kau's BBQ Pork
Renowned throughout Seattle for its slow-roasted barbeque pork, Kau Kau has been an International District favorite for nearly 40 years. Kau Kau was selected Seattle's best barbeque by Seattle Weekly in 2012 and named one of the top five Asian restaurants in Seattle by Sprudge.com.

Rain Shadow Meats Porchetta Sandwich - The specialty sandwich from the Pioneer Square butcher features slow roasted pork loin and belly, crispy pork skin and sauce verte.

In addition, Sportservice will be using breads and rolls from Macrina Bakery. Macrina has been recognized both locally and nationally for its baking. In 2011, Bon Appetit named Macrina one of the top 10 best bread bakeries in America. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, Macrina received the Reader's Choice for "Best Bakery" in Seattle Magazine.

Other new concessions items that Sporservice is featuring at CenturyLink Field include the following: 

  • Skewers: A choice of chicken, steak or veggie skewers served with Pike's Place Market-inspired dipping sauces.
  • Street Tacos: Traditional Mexican-style street tacos served with a variety of salsas.
  • Dungeness Crab Roll: Fresh local crab served on a Macrina Bakery roll.
  • Fish Tacos: Made with fresh halibut.
  • Potacho: A vegetarian marriage of potatoes and nachos.

Along with the many Anheuser Busch made beers, Sportservice will also feature more than 30 different beers throughout the stadium. Among them are many craft beers from Washington State and several from within 20 miles of the stadium: Georgetown Brewing Company's Manny's Pale Ale, Mac & Jack's, Dick's Brewing Company 12th Man, Fremont Brewing Company's Universal Pale Ale, and Elysian Brewing Company's Men's Room Original Red.

The new Brougham Beer Hall, located on the main concourse at the southwest corner of the stadium, will feature 14 different beers on tap, as well as a selection of wines, including these wines from the region: Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay, DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc, and Browne Family Vinyards Cabernet Sauvignon.

A wide variety of new dishes have enhanced the suite menus at CenturyLink Field, including fresh seafood from local purveyors for a Seafood Sampler, an Antipasti with locally sourced fresh cured meats, and a Pacific Northwest-ingredient focused salad. Sportservice chefs will keep food fresh for guests by serving this cuisine continuously from the kitchen in small plates.

Sportservice has implemented its customer service program, GuestPath®, as well as its environmental management program, GreenPath®, to help make CenturyLink Field's operations as environmentally friendly as possible.

Sportservice has developed a strong reputation in the industry for its culinary expertise and innovative concessions concepts. Part of Delaware North Companies, a leading global hospitality and food service provider, Sportservice operates at more than 50 sporting and entertainment venues, including 26 in major professional sports for 28 different franchises.

About Delaware North Companies Sportservice
Delaware North Companies Sportservice is one of the nation's leading food, beverage and retail management companies. Sportservice provides concessions, gourmet catering and fine dining operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues, entertainment complexes and convention centers across the United States and Canada. Sportservice is the provider of choice for an impressive client roster including the World Series, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball's All-Star games, Stanley Cup Championships and the Olympic Games. For more than 90 years, Sportservice has demonstrated that it knows what it takes to effectively develop, operate and manage multi-faceted kitchens, restaurants, suites, fine dining and retail facilities in order to meet the changing demands of today's fans. From introducing new healthy, organic food selections and creative cuisine for twists on the traditional fare, Sportservice continues to innovate and enhance the fan experience.

About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the largest and most admired privately held hospitality companies in the world. Founded and owned by the Jacobs family for nearly 100 years, it is a global leader in hospitality and food service. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Garden. Delaware North Companies has revenue exceeding $2.6 billion annually and 55,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.

Thursday
Jun132013

Seahawks to Implement Improved Public Safety Policy at CenturyLink Field

View: Public Safety and Stadium Access Policy FAQ

RENTON, Wash. – In partnership with the NFL and the other 31 teams, the Seahawks announced today new measures designed both to enhance public safety and expedite entry into CenturyLink Field and Event Center on Seahawks gamedays. The policy will limit the size of bags, packages and containers fans can bring into the stadium.

“I want to thank Seahawks fans in advance for their assistance and flexibility,” said Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin. “Fan safety remains our highest priority. To help with the transition, we will provide an approved vinyl bag to all season ticket holders to help adjust to the new policy and provide clear guidelines on what is permissible to bring into the stadium.”

Starting at the Seahawks first home preseason game on Saturday, August 17 and throughout the season, fans may carry only the following style and size bag, package, or container into CenturyLink Field or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry.

• Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags are available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com).

• One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).

• Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.

• An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

In recent years the Seahawks have enhanced its already comprehensive safety plans with additional measures such as pat downs, bag checks and hand held metal detectors.

“Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer. “Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans’ cooperation.”

This public safety measure is being successfully used at other large venues. The University of Michigan, Penn State University and Michigan State University do not permit any bags, while the TD Garden in Boston only permits clutch bags.

Working personnel, including media, will continue to enter CenturyLink Field through designated gates where they will be subject to screening and bag inspections already in effect at all NFL stadiums.

For additional information, go to NFL.com/allclear.

Thursday
Mar212013

CenturyLink Field to Host World Cup Qualifier on June 11

SEATTLE, Wash. – U.S. Soccer announced today the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Panama will be played on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday, June 11. Kickoff for the match is at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, April 2 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster by phone (800-745-3000) and the CenturyLink Field Box Office.

The seating configuration for the U.S. versus Panama match will be capped at 42,000 fans in consideration of traffic and parking concern. The Seattle Mariners host the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m.

“Going to Seattle for a World Cup Qualifier was very high on our list because of the fantastic atmosphere,” said head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “It was a no brainer. We knew we had to go to Seattle and the sooner the better because it will hopefully give us an advantage in our game.”

The U.S. National Team previously played one World Cup Qualifier in Seattle, beating Canada 2-0 on October 20, 1976, in front of a crowd of 17,675 at the Kingdome. CenturyLink Field previously hosted the U.S. National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2005 and 2009.

U.S. Men’s National Team in Seattle:
* The last time the USA played at CenturyLink (formerly known as Qwest Field) was on July 4, 2009, during a 4-0 victory against Grenada in the opener of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

* The USA is 6-2-1 all-time in Washington and has won five straight.

* The 4-0 margin of victory in the MNT's last outing at CenturyLink Field tied for its largest margin of victory in the state of Washington, the MNT also beat Honduras 4-0 on March 2, 2002 at SAFECO Field.

* The U.S. is currently on a five-game winning streak in Seattle, outscoring its opponents 16-1 in goal differential during that span.

* In the 4-1 victory against Cuba in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, current MNT veterans Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley each tallied goals.

* Out of all the home venues for World Cup Qualifying, CenturyLink is the only one in which the MNT has played in more than once and never lost or tied, with a record of 4-0-0 while playing at the home of MLS side Seattle Sounders FC.