Looking on the bright side, Portland knows how to support some of its local artists. The turnout for Natasha Kmeto's release show for her new LP Crisis was one of the most impressive crowds of the Closer Festival. Maybe it was just the comparatively intimate venue—Holocene is smaller than Refuge, where another crowded main event was held Saturday—or maybe it was Kmeto's increasingly dance-friendly sound and eternally stunning voice.
Grown Folk handled the decks well in opening support for Kmeto, but it's unclear whether the crowd was actually feeling the Montreal duo's brand of weird house or just getting pumped for the main act. As the night progressed to midnight, when Kmeto was slated to perform, a crowd of thirty quickly blossomed into the triple digits.
Other locals didn't fare as well. Portland-headquartered electronic label Nueva Forma hosted their audiovisual event Kontrast at Rotture to a crowd of less than a dozen. Seattle's IG88 spun dub and downtempo and took to making (admittedly pretty funny) comments on the mic. The Beat Broker, San Francisco's reigning Italo/space-disco champ, played what must have been his most intimate show in years.
No music was at fault for empty rooms. To the local and visiting artists who performed: Thank you, and please come again soon. Portland is just now learning how to dance.
All images by Mitch Lillie.