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Washington State’s Indigo Kidd finds Vegas a refreshing change of scene

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Indigo Kidd is Dalton Willett and cousins Eli and Garrett Curtsinger.
Photo: Spencer Burton

Something about Indigo Kidd feels oddly familiar, like you just found the band’s tape buried in the backyard after 10 years without it. It’s indie but it’s punk, nostalgic yet new. And it’s addictively good.

Maybe it’s the way frontman Eli Curtsinger uses his voice as an instrument on June EP Mixtape for Senpai, bending it into a Danzig-esque warble, or how quickly he can change it into a high-pitched wail, a time-tested pop-punk signifier. But despite similarities to the Misfits frontman or Protomartyr’s Joe Casey (especially when Curtsinger roars, “I wanna watch you die slowly!” on “Till Death Do Us Part”), the band falls more along the ranks of Chicago’s Orwells or New York City’s Parquet Courts, with a glossy post-punk sheen. Nirvana is an obvious influence, band members say, as are ’90s indie-rock anchor Dinosaur Jr. and LA-based Wavves.

Originally from Yakima, Washington, cousins Eli (guitar/vocals) and Garrett Curtsinger (drums), plus longtime friend Dalton Willett (bass), made an unlikely Vegas connection inside a coffee shop where Eli once worked. Las Vegas writer/musician Joshua Ellis, living in Yakima at the time, was also captured by Indigo Kidd’s effortless, almost-by-accident charm. Eventually, he convinced them to move to Las Vegas.

“We’d all been wanting to get out of Yakima for quite a while, but we never really saw the right moment,” Willett says. “Eli lived in Seattle before, and it wasn’t the best experience. Josh had always talked of Las Vegas and knew that it wasn’t as saturated as the music scene in Seattle, and eventually we were all just like, ‘Why not? Let’s just do it.’”

Vegas’ proximity to LA and Arizona, along with the growing local scene here, also factored in. “We heard Special-K and listened to some different bands like [Vegas’] Alaska and Red Tank from Arizona,” Eli says. “Seattle kind of sucks. Even now we can’t get a show [there].”

The three-piece moved to the Valley in June and has already landed gigs the guys say they’d never get back home. On Saturday, they’ll open for one of their bucket-list bands, Seattle garage-punks Chastity Belt.

No matter its success in Vegas, Indigo Kidd agrees its sound will always be rooted in Washington. “There’s definitely some Northwest sensibilities you can’t really strip from what we’re doing,” Curtsinger says. “But I like it that way.”

Indigo Kidd Opening for Chastity Belt with So Pitted. August 13, 9 p.m., $6-$10. Bunkhouse Saloon, 702-982-1764. indigokidd.com

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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