Words, Photos & Video: SweetKiss Momma live at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink

By Ron Swarner on November 30, 2014

You have to admire professional figure skaters. They squeeze themselves into skin-tight spandex jumpsuits and dance onto the ice in front of thousands of people - the women unconcerned about their thighs, the men fearless of shrinkage  - often accompanied by terrible show tunes and Cher remixes, all for a little bit of money and a Sunday afternoon television slot.

You won't find any of that Saturday nights at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink. Nope, you'll find kids, middle and high schoolers, families, hipsters, date nighters and large groups of friends skating, laughing and falling on their asses to live, local music.

Last night, representatives from all categories hit the ice for an evening of laughs and rockin' music, thanks to SweetKiss Momma, the Southern rock band based in Puyallup. The band - hot off the heels of their Band In Seattle live taping (look for it in March on KSTW Channel 11) - took time away from planning their January/February European tour to perform songs off their lauded, Nashville-recorded CD, A Reckoning Is Coming, in front of ice skaters in downtown Tacoma.

It was a night of good sports. SweetKiss Momma performed with brand new guitarist Jack Parker. The band also braved temperatures in the mid-20s, shoving their hands in heat warmers so fingers wouldn't snap off. Ice skaters allowed SweetKiss lead singer Jeff Hamel to mess with them. He called out several skating direction changes throughout the night, and even stopped the action for a rousing game of Red Light, Green Light, which everyone joined in. Last, The band serenaded an 18-year-old woman who celebrated her birthday with a group of friends.

The frigid temperatures, holiday weekend and Apple Cup didn't prevent Polar Plaza from hosting the busiest day of ice-skating this season.

A big, WARM thank you to SweetKiss Momma and all who came out to watch the band and ice skate.

The Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink at Tollefson Plaza hosts public ice skating sessions across the street from the Tacoma Art Museum daily through Jan. 11.

Tacoma Americana band Shotgun Kicthen is up next at the ice rink, performing 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos and a video from Saturday's down home holiday hoedown with SweetKiss Momma.


Words, photos and a video from The Cottonwood Cutups live performance at the Polar Plaza ice rink

The backstory and band schedule for the Weekly Volcano's Rhythm & Ice music series at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink