September 9th, 2013 | by WW MUSIC STAFF Music | Posted In: MusicfestNW

MFNW Diaries: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

It's all over but the exhaustion.

charles_bradley_hannah_turner_harts07Charles Bradley at Crystal Ballroom. - Hannah Turner-Harts.

Around Day 4 of MFNW, everything turns into a blur, in more ways than one. It becomes an unending string of bands, one right after the other, with brief gaps that may be sleep or just a memory wipe. In that spirit, here's how we wrapped up this year's magnificent bastard of a festival, in one massive, three-day post. (Contributing writers, in order of appearance: Matthew P. Singer, Arya Imig, Grace Stainback, Joe Donovan, Mark A. Stock, Robert Ham, Mitch Lillie, Brandon Widder, Pete Cottell.)

Friday

6:10 pm @ Virginia Cafe

Uh oh. Happy hour here has become a dangerous pre-Square tradition for me. If I avoided the White Russians this year, things should be fine. (MPS)

7:04 pm @ corner of SW 6th and Yamhill

I don’t know if disgusted is the right word but I just walked out on Dan Deacon’s set and into a far more enjoyable conversation with the always insightful Ron Mason Gassaway from Party Killer. (AI)

7:35 pm @ Pioneer Square

Crowdsurfing in Pioneer Square. ‘Merica. (GS)

7:35pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s nobody on stage, only a voice encouraging everyone to talk to strangers, think of the person they love most, and follow Portland’s No. 1 rule: safety first! Unfortunately, Dan Deacon’s set is too short. (JD)

7:45 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Dan Deacon’s communal aspect was cool, but with such a short set time I wish he spent more time playing music and less orchestrating a noisy group dance party. (GS)

Dan Deacon at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Alyssa Herman. 

8:09 pm @ #14 bus

It happened—I just accidentally showed the bus driver my wristbands instead of my bus pass. (AI)

8:15 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Everybody looks like they’ve just been hit by a taser in the wake of the Dan Deacon set. From afar, it sounded a little like someone put a microphone inside a beehive. (MAS)

8:31 pm @ Hawthorne Theatre

Has it really been almost two years since the last time I was here? Time goes by. Honestly, guys, the venue has made a ton of improvements since I was last here—the bathrooms are nice, there are lights in the hallway between the door to the main room and the all-ages section, there’s a coat check and even a pretty nice-looking balcony. Funnily enough, the last time I was here was also for Saves The Day. (AI)

8:40 pm @ Pioneer Square

Somebody please turn Animal Collective up! I’m not supposed to be able to carry on a conversation with the person next to me, let alone hear myself think. With the goofy props and soft sound, this is feeling more like a kid’s show at a library. (MAS)

8:50 pm @ Roseland Theater

I rush up to the merch table to see if I can find something by Gate and am instead greeted with a big table full of books from PM Press. Feminist tracts, poetry, and socio-political essays. Sign reads “3 Books for $25. But there’s a catch.” Never did find out what that was. (RH)

8:50 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

My favorite AC member is Geologist. The headlamp makes me feel like I’m staring into the mouth of a giant illuminated sea creature. (JD).

8:53 @ Hawthorne Theatre

Hostage Calm singer Chris Martin has just made his second reference to the boxed water he’s drinking. He’s the first performer I’ve heard mention it from the stage. (AI) 

9:03 pm @ Roseland Theater

Michael Morley (aka Gate) quietly walks onstage and sets a prerecorded loop in motion and turns on his amp. The venue must think he’s a guitar tech because he has to signal them to turn down the house lights and the tropicalia playing over the sound system. (RH)

9:04 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Digging the headlamp that Brian Weitz is wearing onstage. It’s both a functional way to navigate his sea of synth equipment, and it’s cool to watch his light beam out from the psychedelic cocoon of visuals enveloping him in the back of the stage. (GS)

Animal Collective at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Mike Grippi. 

9:02 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Animal Collective is in placid bleepity-bloop mode, which is disappointing to me, as I was hoping for something more noisy and manic, and for the majority of this gradually thinning crowd, which probably hoped the band would just play “My Girls” on repeat for an hour. Though once they actually do play “My Girls,” it turns the place into Burning Man for a few minutes. (MPS)

9:05 pm @ Pioneer Place

Unsurprisingly, “My Girls” brings the house down and I witness a handful of people leave once it’s over. But they just turned the sound up, people—shit’s about to get fantastically weird! (MAS)

9:12 pm @ Roseland Theater

Gate’s set is an unending sheen of feedback-heavy guitar noise with some spectral vocals just barely audible underneath all that tumult. As much as I love hearing sets like this in tiny venues, the effect of the huge PA at the Roseland on my person is delightful. (RH)

9:24 pm @ Roseland Theater

Coming in 2014 from Simon & Schuster: Yawns and Chatter: The Perils of Being An Opening Act in Portland. (RH)

9:35 @ Hawthorne Theater

“It’s so great to be here at this festival,” says Into It Over It’s Evan Thomas Weiss. “I can’t believe we’re playing at the same time as Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This song is about how angry that makes me.” (AI)

10:03 pm @ Roseland Theater

Godspeed You! Black Emperor start their set with 10 minutes of pre-recorded drones. They aren’t even on stage yet, and I’m already in heaven. (RH)

10:05pm @ Crystal Ballroom

I’m informed that Titus Andronicus is making a rock opera—they just announced it from the stage. Lead singer Patrick Stickles then goes on to sing a new song solo. “I wrote that in a parking lot this morning,” he says. (JD) 

10:05 pm @ Roseland Theater

The many members of Godspeed are slow to amble onstage. But when all eight are in place, this slow building wave of melody and volume starts to take over. I’m so lost in it that by the time the first kick drum hit happens, I physically startle. (RH)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Roseland Theater.
Leah Nash. 

10:14 pm @ Mississippi Studios

The woman working the door has all the ‘tude and efficiency of an Iraqi checkpoint soldier. It’s for good reason: Both the venue and Bar Bar are filled to capacity. (ML)

10:20 pm @ Roseland Theater

I go see plenty of shows throughout the year. Some are good. A fair amount are great and worth talking about afterwards. Few, like this Godspeed show, are truly transcendent and transportive. This make’s last years epic Swans performance look like a peanut. (RH)

10:13 pm @ Aladdin Theater

The silence surrounding Bonnie Prince Billy’s second MFNW show is, again, hauntingly alluring. You can practically hear the handful of people in the pit breathing between every delicate finger pluck and soulful note Will Oldham conjures from beneath his grizzled beard. (BW)

10:30 pm @ Star Theater

AgesandAges is literally filling up the stage. I don’t think they could squeeze one more person in the mix. Meanwhile, the logistical mess that is Star Theater continues to baffle me. Seems like every turn I take I end up meeting a guy in black guarding a red velvet rope. Am I still in Portland? (MAS)

10:32 pm @ Aladdin

Oldham’s banter includes his jestful thoughts on ripe bananas, God and the merits of some of the Everly Brothers’ most beloved 1960s B-sides. “‘Talking to the Flowers’ is as stupid as drinking bottled water, or water in a box, or owning a pet.” The pug owner up front just cringed. (BW)

10:38 pm @ Mississippi Studios

Some bros hatin’, saying Shy Girls’ saxophonist looks like he has scoliosis. That’s not a medical condition you’re seeing, boys—that’s just soul. (ML)

10:52 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

The fact that Superchunk is performing for a quarter-full room isn’t exactly a surprise—rock’n’roll is dead in 2013, at least at mid-sized venues—but it’s still disheartening, because this band is so goddamn good. Although it is kind of weird seeing them without bassist Laura Ballance, who’s skipping this tour due to hearing problems. Too much middle-aged dude onstage. (MPS) 

11:04 pm @ Mississippi Studios

Le1f just slunk on stage. He moves around like a snake on fire. He’s soon shirtless and glistening in the light. I think I have a bro-crush. (ML)

Le1f at Mississippi Studios.
Mike Grippi.

11:05 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

How good a drummer is Jon Wurster? My buddy, who knows nothing about drums, just commented on his awesomeness. (MPS)

11:10 pm @ Roseland Theater

I had some notion of seeing another show tonight, but the exhaustion I’ve been piling up since Tuesday has finally won out. Until tomorrow, MFNW. (RH)

11:16 pm @ Backspace

The doorman at Backspace is hesitant to let me into FIDLAR’s show even with my wristband, and there’s absolutely no way to hear him over the garage-punk fervor resonating from the tattoo-laden mosh-pit near the front of the stage. I look up the band’s acronym in the meantime: “Fuck It Dog, Life’s a Risk.” My skater buddies are right: This is savage in the best possible way. (BW)

11:27 pm @ Backspace

FIDLAR just feverishly launched into the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” directly after Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand.” The distortion-heavy rendition of the latter fit so well with the rest of the band’s scuzzy repertoire most people don’t notice it’s a cover until it gets to the bit about that tall handsome man. (BW)

11:37 pm @ Backspace

Guitarist and singer Zac Carper of FIDLAR has been continually announcing Taylor Swift’s supposed phone number throughout the band’s raucous set. Regardless of it’s authenticity, more people are hastily jotting it down. (BW)

11:40 pm @ Mississippi Studios

The crowd of 75 in line outside give new meaning to “washed out.” Mississippi Studios is at capacity, and they’ve got 20 minutes before their chillwave darling comes on. (ML)

11: 55 pm @ Hawthorne Theatre

I’m front row for Saves The Day as they approach the end of their blistering 90 minute set. This has been my third time seeing them and by far the most enjoyable experience of the festival so far. It’s shows like this that reinforce all the reasons I go to see live music. (AI)   

12:07 am @ Wonder Ballroom

Thankfully, Flume is far less crowded than Diplo last night. The crowd is healthier, too, bouncing up and down to Flume’s bumbling hip-hop beats. (ML)

12:10 am @ Wonder Ballroom

So I lost a bet and ended up at Flume. I’m uncomfortable already, as he’s mashing up a lot of dubstep and incoherent fuzz. I try to dance but he pulls the time signature right out from under me. The visuals, however, are pretty awesome and befitting of a much bigger artist. (MAS)

12:12 am @ Doug Fir

After spending most of the night at cavernous, uncrowded venues, it’s nice to be in a tightly packed, at-capacity club, and with an audience that’s enthusiastic for the performer. In this case, it’s Cody Chesnutt, who’s wearing the exact same outfit he had on at Star Theater a few months ago: red cardigan, high-waisted pants, a shirt adorned with images of cassette tapes, and his signature “no, I’m really not crazy at all” artillery helmet. He sounds even better than he did then, though, totally commanding the stage, even though he’s tall enough that he practically has to duck to avoid headbutting the ceiling. (MPS)

Cody Chesnutt at Doug Fir.
Eiko Emersleben.

12:14 am @ Bunk Bar

Frank Fairfield is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to all things old-timey. He’s switching between the fiddle, banjo and acoustic guitar with every song, channeling tunes perfectly fit for the late-night locomotive currently blaring its whistle through the industrial district outside. (BW)

12:50 am @ Secret Society

I’ve retired to the quiet confines of Secret Society for a Corpse Reviver No. 2. Most of the drinkers are sporting wristbands, and it feels like a holding tank for exhausted MFNW-goers. It’s a well deserved mini-intermission, especially considering tomorrow’s action-packed lineup. We toast to our ringing ears. (MAS)

12:54 @ Bunk Bar

Fairfield is quite literally shredding the fiddle—or at least the sinewy strands of horsehair that line his bow. I’m unsure if he will even be capable of playing much longer, given how few strands are left. (BW)

12:55 @ Holocene  

There’s a very classy-looking glass of red wine on Guillermo Scott Herren’s table. During Prefuse 73’s legit-as-fuck performance, Alameda’s Stirling Myles taps me on the shoulder and says “This is rad!” I’ve been waiting 10 years to see Prefuse 73, and I hope I don’t have to wait that long ‘til the next time. (AI)

1:07 am @ Holocene

The bouncer will not let anyone else in. We plead. He is resolved. Maybe we weren’t worthy of such avant-garde hip-hop. (ML)

1:13 pm @ Dig A Pony

The bar is less crowded than normal thanks to MFNW, so we zip right in. Classic house on vinyl with no lines? I dig. (ML)

1:25 am @ Bunk Bar

An audience member just strolled up while Fairfield and I are in mid-conversation. He politely thanks him for the performance and confides that he’s never been more sexually aroused during a show in his life. I’ve never seen a musician look more uncomfortable in my life. (BW)


Saturday

1:49 pm @ Outside Doc Martens

Mariachi El Bronx must be hotter than hell in those gaudy charro outfits. Still, the white-and-silver embellishments and gold handkerchief around the neck could easily win the band MFNW’s Best Dressed Award. (BW)

2:23 pm @ Outside Doc Martens

I somehow doubt most mariachi bands have songs with titles like “Cell Mates” and “Slave Labor.” Though the lyrical content may be a little rougher, instrumentally it’s just as tight and well-rehearsed as the band I watched at a Beaverton Mexican restaurant while waiting for my haircut—which is a compliment. (BW)

Mariachi El Bronx at Doc Martens Annex.
Mike Grippi.

4:45 pm @ Doug Fir

Thanks to Sonny Smith’s unassuming monotone and dry vocal delivery, Sonny & the Sunsets sound like the Velvet Underground infused with ‘60s surf-pop flourishes and a little more punk-rock angst. (BW)

7:22 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Thao Nguyen is doing a twee-pop cover of Ludacris’s “What’s Your Fantasy,” which is not only annoying but really dated. Early-arriving white folks dance anyway, and there’s just no way to not look like a dork dancing to this. (MPS)

8:15 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Head & the Heart asks: If everyone had rights, would anyone be wrong? Sappy populist sentiments for all! (PC)

8:21 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

For a moment there, it seemed like the new Head and the Heart tracks wouldn’t carry the kind of twee, sentimental sing-a-longs its audience has come to expect. Fortunately, the handclaps are just getting underway. Everyone is happy again. (BW)

8:20 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Is this what youth pastors look like now? (PC)

The Head and the Heart at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Mike Grippi.

8:25pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Sounds like all that doubt and transience from Head and the Heart’s first album has been replaced with a labored sense of hope. Crowd isn’t that into the new songs.  (JD)

8:30 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square 

Hit single! In the ‘90s, these guys may have been opening for Hootie and the Blowfish, and no one associated with Seattle would've been proud. (PC)

8:42 @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

It's great to see lead vocalist Jonathan Russell plucking some lightly-distorted electric guitar in lieu of the folksy acoustic progressions found on the band’s debut album. I guess touring extensively with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and My Morning Jacket would do that to you. (BW)

9:02 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

Speaking of dated references, Shuggie Otis is introducing himself via Sam Jackson’s Pulp Fiction monologue. (Hey, the dude’s been in the pop wilderness for four decades, cut him some slack.) When the man himself appears, he’s wearing shades and a swashbuckling Seinfeld puffy shirt, suggesting Adam Ant came to Portland a day early to serve as his stylist. (MPS)

9:05 pm @ Dantes

Gaytheist is onstage converting the denizens of Dante’s to their radical homosexual agenda. One more power riff from this power trio and I’m ready to become a power bottom. (RH)

9:22 pm @ Dante’s

“Get loud!” says one excitable gent in a sleeveless tee to Gaytheist. Drummer Nick Parks: “Are we not playing loud enough?” Singer-guitarist Jason Rivera: “The only way we’re going to get loud is if all you people move up to the stage.” Sleeveless tee guy: “C’MON FUCKERS! MOVE UP HERE!!” (RH)

9:25 pm @ Crystal Ballroom 

Listening to Shuggie Otis I can’t help but think back to Fred Armisen on the same stage two nights before, commenting that blues always makes him feel like he’s at a street fair. (GS)

9:34 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

According to certain people on Twitter, there’s something “sad” about this Shuggie Otis performance. Yes, his band does sound plucked from a hotel lounge, with the washes of blissful psychedelia all but scrubbed from songs like “Inspiration Information” and “Aht Ah Mi Hed.” And yes, Shuggie’s once crystalline voice is now more of a rough growl. But I don’t chalk this up to the ravages of time and/or drugs so much as another older artist not realizing what made his records so cool. It happens. Trust me, Charles Bradley would sound something like this if he hadn’t fallen in with the Daptone crew. And regardless, the solo on “Strawberry Letter 23” is still radiant. (MPS)

Shuggie Otis at Crystal Ballroom.
Hannah Turner-Harts.

9:45pm @ Wonder Ballroom

Waiting outside the Wonder Ballroom for the Chromatics/Glass Candy show. The security staff seems to have an odd entry system based off a ratio of how many wristbands to paper tickets can be in the building. There’s a line halfway down the block. (JD)

9:44 pm @ Old Church

Horse Feathers has outdone itself for the Old Church. Frontman Justin Ringle brought along a full orchestral quartet and a slew of guests for the occasion. His voice is just as quavering and raspily melodic as you’d expect, delicately floating above the haunting sea of strings. (BW)

9:58 pm @ West Burnside 

Early onset festival exhaustion led me to skip Godspeed You! Black Emperor last night—a mistake I won’t make again, I declare vigilantly to myself as I hoof it down Burnside from the Crystal to the Roseland. (GS)

10:08 pm @ Dante’s

The men of Bison Bison are conclusively proving that this world absolutely needs more bands that sound like the James Gang doped up on purple drank. (RH)

10:10 pm @ Roseland Theater

Made it in time, but only because Godspeed is late to the stage. “Dude, 10 minutes late, man,” comments the guy next to me. “At least they’re not Snoop Dogg,” he says, referring to the incident at the Roseland a couple weeks back in which Snoop Dogg had fans waiting a cool two hours before hitting the stage. As if on cue, the rumblings of Godspeed’s distorted intro begins. (GS)

10:12 pm @ Aladdin Theater

It’s good to see Helio Sequence playing a roughly at-capacity mid-sized theater. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t been on every music critic’s radar for the last 10 years but the duo seems to like it that way, being obscure enough to do what they want but with Sub Pop’s support. (MAS)

10:23 pm @ Aladdin Theater

Ben Weikel might be the best drummer in the Northwest. He’s as animated as a Muppet and never misses a beat. Ever-busy, he seems to be keeping time and experimenting simultaneously. It’s like watching a gifted octopus utilize all eight arms. (MAS)

Helio Sequence at Aladdin Theater.
Natalie Behring.

10:24 pm @ Backspace

They stopped letting people in for some reason. I peek in the window and the room looks no more than half full. Backspace must have been hit by some fire marshall citation because I remember them packing at least three-times as many folks in there in years’ past. (RH)

10:40 pm @ Aladdin Theater

“Keep Your Eyes Ahead” is blisteringly loud, shaking the stack of speakers a few feet away. My rational side is telling me to back away but the band’s catchy guitar loops and percussive backbone draw me closer. (MAS) 

10:46 pm @ Backspace

There are few things better than seeing Sean Croghan on stage, sweating up a storm, and fully immersed in the thrall of song. The Pynnacles are cooking up there. (RH)

10:50 pm @ Roseland Theater

Whoa. Did 40 minutes just go by during that opening “song”? (GS)

10:50pm @ Wonder Ballroom

Chromatics sound great. Ruth Radelet’s indifference is certainly “haunting.” I can’t decide if I should dance or cry. (JD)

11:04 @ Crystal Ballroom

With those moves, there's no doubt Charles Bradley was once a James Brown impersonator prior to his rise. He can bob, shuffle and gyrate with the momentum of few his age. The gal next to me thinks it’s rather inappropriate, given he is pushing 65 years old. I think it’s completely enthralling. (BW)

11:04 pm @ Backspace

Amazing to think it’s been 18 years since I first spun Team Dresch’s Personal Best to death, yet this is the first time I’m going to see them live. The band seems amused by the passing of time, too, with bassist-vocalist Jody Bleyle urging, “All the middle-aged ladies to the front!” (RH)

Charles Bradley at Crystal Ballroom.
Hannah Turner-Harts.

 11:05 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

“I love yoooooouuuuu!” screeches Charles Bradley between each tune to the intensely sold-out crowd packing the Crystal. I’ve seen Bradley twice, and his routine hasn’t changed, but the guy is a font of mesmerizing power and sincerity. Methinks he should’ve been in the Square in this year. (MPS) 

11:11 pm @ Backspace

Three members of Team Dresch start playing one song, guitarist Donna Dresch starts playing a different one. “The set list is in a really unreadable font,” Dresch says. (RH)

11:18 pm @ Backspace

Jody Bleyle: “It’s so great to be able to play with the Pynnacles. I used to live with those guys 20 years ago in a house that we used to practice in, too. Crackerbash, Satan’s Pilgrims—and when we left, we stole some of their amps. One of them is right back there.” (RH)

11:20 pm @ Bunk Bar

Maybe I’ve been avoiding the bigger venues this week, but this is the first line I’ve witnessed at MFNW. It’s actually refreshing, as I was beginning to wonder if some festival-goers were already calling it quits. Slow and steady wins the festival race. (MAS)

11:35 pm @ Bunk Bar

People are comparing MFNW highlights in between songs. I overhear one guy talk about touching Bradford Cox’s shoe at the Deerhunter show and how he hasn’t washed his hand since. I’m a little jealous. (MAS)

11:42 @ Crystal Ballroom

The first time I saw Charles Bradley was at a free show in my college cafeteria two years ago. There were maybe 50 people in attendance, most of whom had no idea who he was. He’s just humble, genuine and musically formidable tonight as he was then. I remember he hugged everyone in the audience after the show. Talk about a sweaty man. (BW)

11:45 pm @ Burnside St. 

Walking back to my car, and the random city noises are eerily bringing me right back to the Godspeed You! Black Emperor show. (GS)

Midnight @ Wonder Ballroom

It’s hotter than Hades in here, and with those red stage lights, it’s got the same color palette, too. I’ve missed Chromatics but not the mass body heat. Lucky me. (MPS)

12:05 am @ White Owl Social Club

YOB is pumping out as much volume and power as Godspeed did last night. The impact is much more potent in this smaller space. Not sure my body can withstand it. (RH)

12:10 am @ Bunk Bar

Frankly, I thought Sonny Smith would look a lot stranger. I mean, his latest record is an art-folk effort about paranormal activity. But he just kinda looks like a substitute teacher. (MAS)

12:20 am @ Wonder Ballroom

Johnny Jewel? More like Johnny Ghoul. Dude looks like he’s been trapped in a windowless basement the last few years. Meanwhile, Glass Candy’s Ida No is wearing some sort of Gaga-ish geisha costume while Jazzercising with backup dancers. I’m pretty sure she’s a native English speaker, but her between-song banter makes it sound like she just learned the language last week. (MPS)   

12:22 am @ Bunk Bar

This is the perfect band for Bunk Bar. Mildly raucous but contained. Somewhat abstract but accessible. And Sonny’s occasional duet with his female counterpart is befitting of the tiny setting. They play retro-rock number “Primitive” and several people nearby try to Shazam it. (MAS)

12:39 am @ Dante’s

Yes, the Bronx are the same dudes who donned classic mariachi attire and tore through a brass-heavy set outside a shoe store earlier this afternoon. The fiercely-distorted electric chugging and cannonade of drums on “Knifeman” isn’t as family-friendly, but it’s just as fucking awesome. (BW)

12:56 @ Dante’s

The riotous energy and drunken enthusiasm at the Bronx is there, but there’s just not enough people to properly stage dive. As far as hardcore punk acts go, Matt Caughthran is easily one of the most sincere and thankful frontmen currently in existence—and he looks concerned. (BW)

12:48 am @ SE Milwaukie Ave.

My MFNW weekend ends with a terrifying thrill as I almost run my car into three young deer crossing the road. The shot of adrenaline is helpful to keep me awake and get me home to bed. (RH)


Sunday

7:05 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

I find Pickwick’s dressed-down soul a bit bland, but then, after six days of MFNW, anything more exhilarating would just overload my senses. (MPS)

7:50 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square 

Free Talenti gelato outside the Pioneer Square gates? I’ll take two. (GS)

7:51 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Mike Mills—the R.E.M. bassist, not the director—is hanging out backstage. I kind of want to ask him to record backup vocals for my outgoing voicemail message. (MPS)

7:55 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Apparently this is only the second night of Neko Case’s tour supporting her new record and it also happens to be her 43rd birthday. Although I don’t have much of a personal connection to Case’s music, I can tell this will be a special show. (GS)

Neko Case at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Christopher Onstott. 

8:05 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Neko Case is taking her festival-closing gig pretty casually: She’s dressed like she lost her luggage at the airport. Ratty grey shirt, long shorts that stop at her shins and striped socks pulled high. (MPS)

8:11 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Portland could probably have set the world record for largest double date tonight. (ML)

8:30 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s a respectable crowd here, though nobody actually seems to be moving at all. Like, not even giving cursory head nods. I’m assuming everyone is as exhausted as I am. That’s it, MFNW. It was fun, but I’m throwing in the towel. I’ve got Breaking Bad to watch. (MPS)

8:47 pm @ Pioneer Square 

Loving the banter between Kelly Hogan and Neko Case. Candy bacon? Puddles of pee? Cannibal picnics? Cocaine baggies? There is no subject off limits, and all the parents are most likely cupping the ears of young ones in the crowd. (GS)

8:50 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Neko Case’s music is mesmerizing and magical, though after five days of MFNW, she’s become the sandman for this writer. That’s fine, though: The tunes are even better with your eyes closed. (ML)

9:20 pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

I’m being urged to the Crystal by the stage MC, but I think my deep red bell is rung tonight. (ML)

9:34 pm @ Pioneer Square 

I wasn’t that familiar with Case’s music beforehand, but what she accomplished up there was more than just a string of recognizable songs—it was a tangible feeling of connection. I can’t imagine that a single person could have left Pioneer Square displeased with that concert. (GS)

9:56 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

Given the demographics of the crowd here for Big Gigantic, surprised I wasn’t subjected to a bag check. Which was fortuitous, because I was able to sneak in the rest of my pineapple fried rice from the I Love Thai food truck down the street. (GS)

10:05 pm @ Crystal Ballroom 

For a Sunday night (and final concert of the festival), this place is packed and the crowd is definitely feeling Big G’s interesting dichotomy of smothering bass and feathery sax notes. (GS)

10:20 pm @ Crystal Ballroom

I make it about 15 minutes into the show before I have to bail. My legs are going to give out on me. The leftover pineapple fried rice is leaking into my purse. And Neko Case was just too perfect of an ending to MFNW. (GS)

Big Gigantic at Crystal Ballroom.
Mike Grippi.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close