I’ve been mad at Mississippi Studios – I wanted to book my CD release party with them, but I didn’t quite have what it takes. So I wasn’t really mad…just pouting and avoiding which is stupid because they’re RAD…But tonight as I headed out with a group of musician friends and stood on the balcony at Mississippi Studios to take in the music, I was reminded of why it isn’t quite time for me to headline on their stage. The musicianship was spectacular tonight. We’re lucky to have such an incredible venue…remodeled by musicians for musicians…BRILLIANT!
The opening act had just started and my ears perked up when I heard a female lead who was heavy on the keys that of course made me remarkably happy. Lauren Mann and The Fairly Odd Folk are really good! While Mann stayed primarily on the keyboard with the exception of a couple ukulele songs, Dane Letourneau, Jay Christman, Jessica Christman, Ray Gourlay and super jumper/dancer/twirler/clapper Zoltan Szoges took turns switching instruments. At first I was distracted by the immediate assumption that they wouldn’t play very well on different instruments and should really focus on their primary instrument, they pulled it off AND it gave the audience members milling on the crowded floor the opportunity to catch a peek at different band members as they switched instruments. AND THEY TALKED ABOUT A CAUSE. These guys made a goal of giving 10% of their merch proceeds would go towards fixing wells in Rwanda. Watch for this group in the future…I think they’re gaining momentum!
Before I get to Rusted Root, I just wanted to share some fun facts about Portland audience members:
1. It is apparently really, really difficult for some people to figure out how to turn the flash off their camera while a band is performing.
2. I think this might be the reason the bouncer/flash stopper looked so mad all night. Cuz if I had the opportunity to stop flash and get an amazing show out of it, I’d probably have a permagrin.
3. And speaking of permagrins…it was a very happy, loving crowd tonight…but why did someone keep farting on the balcony??
4. And I really tried to ignore all the chaos…including the giant man in a too small shirt doing some sort of buddha pushin’ up the roof dance…But it did start to bother me just a little that the stranger standing beside me on the balcony wasn’t even watching the musicians. Rather, it seemed that he had an amazing view of dancing cleavage just below him.
5. Finally, for musicians coming to Portland, we’re quiet people here. If the feet of audience members are still glued to the floor at the end of the show, that means they want more. Otherwise (and I’ve seen this many times) they’re already out the door before you’ve even bowed at the end of the night. We’re not big on clapping and clapping and screaming for an encore. We conservationists trying to save our energy by standing as still and quiet as possible. PLEASE COME BACK ON STAGE STAT!!
Rusted Root Trivia time: This band has been together for 20 years…it doesn’t even seem possible…were they five when they started the band? And ‘Send Me On My Way’ has been used in commercials for the past two years, but did you know that NASA used it as wake-up music for the Mars Rover?? How many musicians can put that on their resume?
This was absolutely on of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. Michael Glabicki is ridiculously talented and versatile. The lovely Liz Berlin has a gorgeous voice and plays a mad cowbell. She also rocked the talking drum and a mean cabasa. Patrick Norman has a beautiful voice and is ridiculously cool on stage…all chill and hip in his shades. Colter Harper, with his sweet hat and stellar style, rocked the guitar and percussion…every band needs a hottie with so much versatility. Dirk Miller played the guitar and banjo in a corner that was hard for me to watch from my corner, but I have to give him superprops for the greatest soundcheck show ever!! Ummm…yeah, he plays a little better than me. Preach Freedom brought the house down with his mad percussion workout at the end of the night with his cascara/clave showdown. The band obviously put a lot of time and energy into practice…talk about cohesive. The Movement, their new album is officially released at the end of this month. And if you happened to be at the show, you had the opportunity to purchase a copy early.
Finally, my CD release party…November 17th at Sellwood Public House.