There was an oddly reflective mood amongst the celebrants at the 2013 Make It Pop fundraiser. Given the fervor with which PDX Pop Now!, the evening’s beneficiary, embraces the new—kids’ sitting atop their daddy’s shoulders to catch their first ever concert; hastily assembled bands nervously playing their own first shows together—the look backwards felt a bit quaint, though not exactly out of place. The brash young kid on the festival circuit turns 10 this year, after all.
Between a typically frenetic performance from Lotte-Lenya-of-the-plains Ezza Rose and a stripped-down/ginned-up set from Kelli Schaefer—psychedelia sextet Grandparents and pop classicists Monarques, whose protestations of band death appear greatly exaggerated, rounded out the bill—organizer and WW Give!Guide Director Nick Johnson spoke about rather more desperate times five springs ago. With donations suddenly withering during the depths of local economic struggles, the always-free weekend showcase depended for its very survival upon the largesse of legendary Jackpot producer/Tape-Op publisher/honorary Mayor of Portland music Larry Crane.
Crane was in attendance, of course, within a sold-out crowd milling about the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel to eat (Olympic Provisions, Fifty Licks, and Saint Cupcake), drink, and glad-hand amidst the sun-baked revelers’ palpable anticipation for Portland’s festival season to finally begin in earnest.
All photos by Jay Horton.