The biggest night in Closer's three year history did not disappoint. Three rooms in Refuge, the main host of the festival for each of the three years, sought to appease the varying musical tastes of Portland's electronica lovers. Outside, and audible from blocks away, was the PDX Junglist stage, showcasing Portland's best in drum 'n' bass—if you're into that kind of thing.
On the VIP Stage, LoDubs Records and Losonofono went back to back spinning dub reggae, ambient and spacey, low-tempo disco. The room was dark and anonymous, hidden back in a hallway, but otherwise was not exclusive to certain ticketholders.
The main event, though, was, appropriately, the main stage. Portland local Bryan Zentz did an admirable job of bringing the crowd inside and up out of their seats with dub techno, but when Seattle's J.Alvarez, who also performs as 214, took the stage, things really started to bounce—literally. Oscillating, repetitive basslines in J.Alvarez's set made moving up and down irresistible.
John Tejada stepped on stage in front of where everyone else had been playing, and rightfully so. His hardware had been set up hours before, cords flowing everywhere. He looked cool as the slightest twist of one of hundreds of knobs added texture after texture to his house and tech house tracks.
Hard to believe there's another night on its way tonight after this obvious high point. We'll let you know the highlights.
All photos by Mitch Lillie.