The 8th annual PDX Pop Now! festival is in the books. As usual, it was a dizzying display of some of the best Portland has to offer, with the occasional challenging wrench thrown in. Here's more of what it looked like from Saturday and Sunday.
Playing with a reconstituted lineup that now includes local go to players Dave Depper and Scott Magee, Monarques delivered one of the best sounding sets of the weekend. The band's classic-leaning pop was a wall of sound and harmonies, all the more impressive in a live setting.
The duo known as Purple & Green lived up to their recent hype in a big way, with a wildly entertaining set of uptempo soul-beat numbers (and a glimpse of why they hilariously describe themselves as Teddy Riley vs Terry Riley). Frontman Justin Green showed why he's a natural in the role, playing the dual role of soulman/showman while the crowd bounced to Adam Forkner's beats.
Nurses stuck to all new material, sounding outstanding in introducing songs from the upcoming release Dracula. Wampire's Rocky TInder sat in for the set, taking care of Aaron Chapman's guitar parts while Chapman's left arm, injured in a recent bike accident, rested in a sling.
Radiation City caused a bit of a stir around our parts a while back with the sublime single "The Color of Industry," and as it turns out are bound to produce more where that came from. The quartet played a sparkling Sunday afternoon set, much of it riding along on Elisabeth Ellison's relaxed and lilting vocals.
It was a raw, impassioned set from Kelli Schaefer and her band, whose instrumentation at one point included a shovel/rock combo. Needless to say, the band wrapped with a tipped over drumkit and much foot stomping and hollering.
In terms of sheer energy and precision of delivery, no one at this year's festival topped Brainstorm.The duo ripped through their manic, complex, genre-bending songs before introducing a new third member (for that set, at least). We knew that our favorite discovery from last year's festival was bound to be better, but we didn't know they'd gotten this good.
Guidance Counselor closed out this year's PDX Pop Now! fest with their final Portland performance as lead Ian Hunter Anderson is set to depart for San Francisco in a matter of days. As expected, they worked the crowd into a frenzy, with spontaneous crowd-surfing erupting throughout, before Anderson himself went out on top at the end of the night.
Congrats to PDX Pop Now! for another outstanding job. We're already looking forward to next year!
Tagged: PDX Pop Now 2011