The 00s: The Decade of Natural Disaster
The 00s. The Decade of Natural Disaster.
Maybe it’s because the decade just ended, but damn, the 2000s were intense! A lot of yin and yang. Huge setbacks for our country, and new beginnings with our first ever African-American President. Let’s jump in while we still remember everything.
By the time we hit 2000, many were breathing in a sigh of relief over the Y2K threats. Because that’s just what they were, threats. By the time we got done celebrating, September 11th hit. Like a knife to the heart of our country, we felt it from coast to coast. Much like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we rose and came together to send love to those devastated and hurt. Everyone pitched in. From Girl Scouts to the elderly, to our local music heroes. Pearl Jam joined Neil Young for the America: A Tribute To Heroes benefit. Countless local shows, fundraisers and donations started to build our morale back up.
2000-2010 should be named "the decade of natural disaster". The tragic 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake causing over 180,000 deaths combined was more than many of us could wrap our minds around. If you remember in early 2005, Alice In Chains reunited with guest vocalists for a tsunami benefit show which also featured Sir Mix-A-Lot, Heart, The Supersuckers, and Krist Noveselic of Nirvana as MC for the evening. The show was held at what's now known as the Showbox SoDo, a venue then called The Premier, and raised over $100,000 with unforgettable performances featuring Ann Wilson singing with Alice In Chains on an acoustic version of "Brother", Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd and Pat Lachman of Damageplan singing with the band on classics like "Would", "Angry Chair" and "It Ain't Like That", and even the two of them singing together on "Again". A definite highlight was Maynard James Keenan singing on both "Man in the Box" and "Them Bones", not to be outdone by a version of "Rooster" which featured Wilson, Keenan, Lachman and Scantlin all trading off on vocal duties throughout the song.
In 2005, our country was rocked again. This time by Hurricane Katrina. One of the 5 deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. At KISW, we reacted within 72 hours, and with the help of our friends in Queensrÿche, staged a benefit concert at the Showbox, which there was only one of at the time, near Pike Place Market. It was a moving show that was broadcast live with 100% of the funds going to the American Red Cross.
On the homefront, KISW started the decade with the legendary Howard Stern, and continued with him all the way through his exit from terrestrial radio. Our dawg Ricker had many a gangster talking about kickballs at "High Noon". 2005 saw the addition of The BJ Shea Morning Experience along with The Mens Room to our roster, from that of our former sister station, The Buzz. Ryan Castle and Jolene rounded out the dream team you enjoy on the KISW airwaves even today. The 2000s also brought with them the return of Metal Shop and a local show à la Seattle Zone, now known as Loud And Local.
April 5th of 2002 saw the death of Alice In Chains frontman, Layne Staley. The future of Alice In Chains had been bleak even before his passing and this made it even worse. Luckily for all of us, AIC would ride again and soar. Grammy nominations, sold out concerts, and mending for hearts broken by Layne's death along the way. The 2000s do get better. Shine on and chin up!
Many bands had garnered fame and money by emulating the Seattle sound (see Creed). Some were better than others (see Seether). Then, there was a new genre that combined two, rap and rock. Once again, some were better than others.
The first few years within the 2000s saw rap rock at its peak. Some acts burned bright and faded with the trend (see Limp Bizkit). Some evolved and became bigger than the fad ever could have been. Slipknot is the best example, though not without their own setbacks.
Along with Slipknot, we were rocking with Korn, Staind, Godsmack, Disturbed, Linkin Park, the always amazing Tool, and a band from Huntington Beach, California known as Avenged Sevenfold. There was also the triumphant return of Metallica, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden (who put on a once in a lifetime, secret show at the Showbox At The Market, under the name Nudedragons in the spring of 2010).
The latter half of the 2000s brought the end of the massive touring festival, as Ozzfest was pared down to just a show or two per year and Lollapalooza stuck to doing just one annual show in Chicago. The decade also saw the return of the supergroup with acts like Audioslave and Velvet Revolver.
Enough about bands, how about you? This was the decade of the social networking boom! It started quietly with Friendster, then Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. From keeping up with friends to following sports teams and the realization that... "Aw man, my mom is on Facebook!" to even our President on Twitter and Facebook, social networking continued to grow.
Movies continued to be filmed in our neck of the woods. The Twilight Trilogy, The Ring, Life Or Something Like It, parts of Into The Wild, and Battle In Seattle, all bringing economy to our city.
In 2001, an earthquake shook Seattle at a 6.8 magnitude on the Richter scale. It was the largest in Washington's history. Luckily for us there were no deaths, but there were over 400 injured in the quake.
2000 saw the opening of the Experience Music Project (EMP). Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Dialing back on the sports front, March 26th of 2000, The Kingdome was imploded. Qwest Field opened July 28, 2002 and became the new home of The Seattle Seahawks and The Seattle Sounders. The Seahawks won their division title and made it to Super Bowl 40 on Febuary 5th of 2006. They ultimatley lost a game that will live in infamy for Seattle, while the Pittsburg Steelers won their 5th Super Bowl, consequently becoming one of Seattle's biggest rivals in sports. Following the 2007–08 season, Seattle's SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City, now playing as the Oklahoma City Thunder and leaving Seattle with no NBA team to speak of.
"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real." President Barack Obama said, then as President elect. "Starting today, we must pick up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America." These were his words on his day of swearing in. Our first African-American President. A day that many thought would never come.
Indeed, the first decade of the 2000s was intense in many ways.