July 15th, 2009 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

"I Told Four People": Benji Bilheimer's Close-Up Photos of Dave Chappelle's Close Encounter with Portland

There's consensus going around town today that last night's Dave Chappelle silent performance was a major letdown, since, you know, nobody could hear the man. For what it's worth, I think that's a cynical response to a rather thrilling little piece of online-generated serendipity. It wasn't anybody's idea of a good show. But what else were you doing with your Tuesday night that was so crucial? Did you miss valuable drinking hours? Last night was a reminder that Portland is only young once: 30 years from now, when the city has its identity firmly established, we're all going to look back and grin about the night we saw Dave Chappelle not performing audible comedy in Pioneer Courthouse Square. By then, maybe we'll have jobs, and we won't be able to stay up 'til 2 waiting for Dave.

Anyway, Chappelle himself was pretty obviously taken aback by the turnout for his rumored appearance (police estimates of 2,500 are hilariously low). The first words out of his mouth, yelled very slowly: "I told four people." Nothing demonstrates his reaction better than these close-up shots by Portland-based photographer Benji Bilheimer.

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More after the jump:

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And, finally, the mess left for the city to clean up:

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