EVERETT — Rain didn’t keep concert-goers away on Thursday night.
The Narrative Coffee shop was packed with people — water dripping from their hats and jackets, the fabric on their shoulders darker than the rest of their outfits.
Visitors squeezed through the crowd, balancing glasses of water, beer or coffee.
Many sat feet away from the stage, past the espresso bar near the back of the room. Others huddled by the front door, where a slight breeze would come in each time a new person entered.
Everett band Sylvi started around 6:45 p.m. Coffee grinders rumbled between songs.
Singer Sarah Feinberg of Everett thanked the audience for their support.
“It’s fun to share this with you guys — friends, family and community,” she said.
Thursday was opening night of the sixth-annual Fisherman’s Village Music Festival. More than 50 bands are set to play in Everett.
Saturday is the final night. Shows are scheduled from 1 p.m. to midnight, near the intersection of 33rd and Cedar streets. Some will be at the Scuttlebutt Taproom and Brewery and others at the main stage close by.
There also will be vendors and food trucks at the night market, from 4 to 10 p.m. That part is free and open to all ages.
I had never been to the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival before opening night. I likely wasn’t the only first-timer.
The number of guests grows each year, said Ryan Crowther, founder of the festival and the Everett Music Initiative.
He estimates about 5,000 people attended last year.
“We intend to beat that this year, and as the rain lets up we’re more and more confident that will happen,” he said.
There are some changes this time around.
Usually, the event is all downtown. Spreading to the east side of Broadway means there’s more room to grow.
The concerts also start and end a day earlier.
“Sundays are tough,” Crowther said. “I liked the idea of moving it to Thursday, and after doing it and seeing it, I feel good with our choice. I would do it again next year.”
The night market has been added, as well. Crowther hopes it brings newcomers.
Everett band The Porters kicked off the festival. Christa and Richard Porter started the group in 2012. The couple have been married for more than a decade.
Their set began at 6 p.m. with the song “Sunday Blues.” Richard played guitar and Christa the ukulele, while both sang at times.
They played a single called “Me, Myself and Menthols.” It’s not out yet, but should be available any day now, Christa said.
The two also plan to release their first full-length album this summer.
“It’s an up-to-date anthology, so kind of just our favorites from years worth of songs we’ve written that we’ve finally gotten recorded,” she said.
The Porters moved to Everett about 10 years ago. There weren’t many places to perform in the north part of town.
“There’s just a variety now,” Christa said. “There’s so many branches now of groups and people doing different things. It’s exciting. It’s really a privilege to be a part of.”
The duo first performed at the annual festival about four years ago.
On Thursday they opened for Laura Veirs. She’s probably one of the most recognized musicians they’ve shared a stage with, Christa said.
My night started with The Porters around 6 p.m. at the Schack Art Center. After, I left to watch Sylvi at Narrative, but returned for Laura Veirs.
She played guitar and sang with Seattle violinist Alex Guy by her side. The pair met at a protest in 1999, Veirs said.
“When things got scary and the cops were shooting us with rubber bullets and there was tear gas and people throwing espresso machines out the window, I went home and Alex went into the middle of it,” she told the audience.
Soft gallery lights shined on the artists. They played for a calm crowd who were mostly seated. Some sipped on brown bottles of Scuttlebutt beer or clear plastic cups filled with red wine as they enjoyed the music.
The space itself was large, with high ceilings, a loft and plenty of space to browse the artwork.
After about half an hour, I stepped out and into the wet weather. I headed toward Black Lab Gallery, a few blocks away.
People lined the building outside, smoking and mingling. Inside was dark, humid and filled with folks who were standing. The room is narrow and no longer than 50 feet.
I missed King Mammoth, but caught most of Oliver Elf Army, along with Sleepover Club and Wimps. All but Wimps are from Everett.
I ran into my coworker and cubicle-mate Caleb Hutton throughout the night. We both were at Black Lab in the end.
“I was looking froward to Laura Veirs, and I enjoyed that, but I was excited to see the bands I hadn’t heard of,” he said.
One of those was Seattle band Wimps, the last performance of the night.
By that time a friend had guided me to the front of the room. At first people were swaying. During the last couple of songs, the crowd was jumping, beer flying from their 16-ounce cans.
The set ended around 11 p.m. “Wake up refreshed for work tomorrow,” one of the band members called out over the microphone. The masses began to clear.
If you go
Saturday is the last night of Everett’s sixth-annual Fisherman’s Village Music Festival.
The night market runs from noon to 10 p.m., with food trucks and more than 40 vendors. That part is free and for all ages.
Concerts begin at 1 p.m. and end at midnight. Tickets are sold for $40 near the venue, at the intersection of 33rd and Cedar streets.