Camera Obscura and Marissa Nadler at Crystal Ballroom

Colette Pomerleau / June 26, 2013
Camera Obscura. All photography by Meggyn Pomerleau
Camera Obscura. All photography by Meggyn Pomerleau

It has been too long since Glasgow’s Camera Obscura have performed in Portland. Their newest release, Desire Lines was recorded here with producer Tucker Martine. The audience was more than happy to welcome them back. There were many who expected and might’ve demanded old favorites that were undoubtedly repeated over and over on a daily basis. “Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken”, “Teenager” and “Tears for Affairs” itched that scratch for long-time fans and hooked the newbies. Tracyanne Campbell relentlessly executed her cheery pop vocals with soulful undertones. Her voice can brighten a room, even with painful lyrics sung. Her fellow bandmates were lively and it was obvious that this is what they are all meant to do. A humble and positive atmosphere is always appreciated, and Camera Obscura voiced multiple times about how grateful they were to be in Portland. The encore supplied the audience with a couple more favorites, including “French Navy”. With an even more excited response from the audience, the band seemed to feed off of it. The only way to walk away from that venue was with a smile.

Marissa Nadler. All photography by Meggyn Pomerleau
Marissa Nadler. All photography by Meggyn Pomerleau

If there is one request to be made regarding future live performances, it is that Marissa Nadler return and play in a more private and spooky venue. The stage housed only her and her guitars. For someone with such a reserved presence, she omitted a ton of emotion and honesty with her voice. The introspective lyrics about loneliness and grief definitely set a mood. Every song was haunting and resonated deep within everyone watching and listening. Her sound has been described on numerous occasions as dream-folk, and that description fits perfectly. She allows listeners to float in and out of consciousness, taking in all of the dreamscapes inspired by her sullen and beautiful voice. The entire performance imprinted an experience not to be forgotten.

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