This isn’t every show, there were a couple of metal shows and a noise show, I don’t feel like talking about them. I saw Ian Svenonius‘s new band Chain and the Gang, it bordered on boring. I also saw Robyn, but we arrived late and were on the side under a balcony, I don’t feel like I really got to experience the show. Here are the ones I’ll remember.
Matmos & So Percussion
Matmos/So Percussion was the last show in PDX before the move back to Seattle. The Lexie Mountain Boys opened and I found them terrible. Matmos and So Percussion were awesome. So Percussion used drums, a string based distorter, and cacti to create rhythms that volleyed with Matmos’s musique concrete.
Joanna Newsom for two magical nights, one in Seattle and one in Portland. The Seattle show was at The Moore, it was 100 degrees inside, Joanna and band were dripping and the theater smelled terrible. The show was perfect. In Portland she played the Aladdin Theater, which was air conditioned. The Portland show was a little looser and a bit more spine tingly than Seattle.
Red Sparowes & Boris
Red Sparowes and Boris sounded like a dream show when I heard about it, in practice the show was off. My legs were sore and the lights were in my eyes most of the time, that may have tarnished my opinion also. Both bands were great, Red Sparowes played first and played a really mellow set, Boris was balls out glam metal. The styles clashed and I could never get into Boris.
M.I.A. & Rye Rye
One of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to, and that says a lot. Rye Rye, and her spastic bouncy hip hop, was the perfect opener. This tour bordered on performance art for M.I.A. She toned down her normal bright sensory overload of a show and turned it into a dark somewhat menacing piece about popular culture. The best show of hers I’ve seen yet.
Belle & Sebastian
Belle & Sebastian filled Benaroya Hall with aging hipsters and got them to dance. I’ve seen Belle & Sebastian many times, this time had one of the best setlists. Which I was happy about since their recent album Write About Love is not the best.
The last time I saw Clinic it was at the Doug Fir in Portland a couple of years ago, it was small and intimate, and they rocked. This time around they were at Neumos, and the venue didn’t work for them. They felt it and I think they sort of called in their performance.