Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I had good timing for my Portland trip and I didn't even choose it. The company I interviewed with chose the date and time to meet me. It just so happened that it was the same time as MusicFestNW, an eleven year old, four day music festival in Portland. Wooooo! Instead of driving down, interviewing and driving back, I stayed two nights and suffered through two days. Danielle (from previous Bumbershoot blog) was gracious enough to host me and we made plans to do MFNW together on Friday.

I was left to my own devices on Thursday. At about 6pm I walked with Brittany (Danielle's sister) to a great local pub in an area PDX seems to be trying hard to regentrify. The place was beautiful, the jalapeno poppers homemade and fantastic, the local beers different and interesting. From there  I headed to McMenamins Crystal Ballroom to pick up our wristbands, then I stayed for two shows. Fort Lean replaced The Hundred in the Hands.  I'd never heard of them and apparently they are a local to PDX band.  They had a great sound, very up beat and a blend of good song writing with head bopping beats.  It took a while to figure out who they were, as MFNW wasn't good about posting changes like Bumbershoot.  McMenamin's owns several  locations in Washington and probably a dozen in Oregon.  The Ballroom was a pretty good venue; the acoustics were good, it was on the third floor and had a nice bouncy floor for when we jumped around.  There was a sectioned off bar on the audience floor and they had canisters of water out which was necessary considering it was about a million degrees by the time the second show let out.

The second show was Passion Pit. I'd missed their show the week before at Bumbershoot and was happy to catch them at the Crystal Ballroom. They had performed for MFNW at the Crystal the night before.  They didn't let the second show slide but put on an energetic, crowd roaring performance.  The audience was keyed up, singing along and jumping/dancing along. I only know who or three of their songs but thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Both Fort Lean and Passion Pit had something that a few of the Bumbershoot shows were missing - great music engineers.  The vocals were lost to overly reverbed guitars and thumping bass beats. The light show for PP kept the audience as rapt as their electronic feats.

Since this got much longer than I intended, I'll break Thursday's and Friday's reviews into two blog posts.  Friday is even longer.  Apparently, I like talking about music. Who knew? (wink, wink)

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