This year's PDX Pop Now! festival is off to a solid start after a diverse opening night Friday. Here's some of what it looked like at the new digs at Refuge PDX.
The garage-lounge of Reservations quickly heated up the indoor space. The well-dressed quartet featuring two vocalists blazed a trail that brought the likes of Nick Cave and Dex Romweber to mind.
Lovers appeared as a big sounding three piece, the first electro-beats of the night helping to commence with head-bobbing all around.
There had been a couple of previous dates in recent months, but Friday night was clearly Martyn Leaper's re-coming out party, declaring that The Minders are back. In a big way, too, with a rhythm section now consisting of former Shin Jesse Sandoval and former Shaky Hand Mayhaw Hoons.
Golden Retriever threw a mellow curve ball into things, sandwiched between the loud and energetic. A an experimental bass clarinet, keyboard and knob twisting duo, their often beautiful drone was joined at one point (on key, no less) by the whistle of a nearby train.
We were there for The Chicharones' manic set. I mean we saw and heard. But I still don't know what it was. There was hip hop, there was soul, and even some doo-wop. Also, a pig mask. Our introduction was clearly not the same for scores of others, though, many singing along and in place knowing exactly what to expect.
And And And closed out the night, a typically high energy set from them and their first without the recently departed Tyler Keene. The band didn't seem to miss much of a beat, however, bringing about a partucularly raucous bout of moshing at the foot of the stage. Sunglasses were lost, shoes were tossed, and like that the festival;s opening night was in the books.
See the rest of our Flickr set of opening night action here.
More to come here throughout the weekend, plus up to the minute musings over on Twitter (@opbmusic).
Tagged: PDX Pop Now 2011