Holocene is a crucial space for live music and gathered incredible local bands to celebrate a decade of amazing experiences.
Those who arrived at the event on time to experience the sounds of John Bower’s solo project, Adventurous Sleeping, were very fortunate. His set was accompanied by visuals from Aaron Chapman, fellow band mate of another Portland-based band Nurses. For the first act, John appeared to be comfortable with opening. The general consensus was a fascination with the complex and peculiar mix of sounds. His lyrics were interesting and unexpected. The relaxed yet subtly hectic use of all of his instruments provided for an interesting set to watch. His arrangement of instruments was reminiscent of a time machine, and everyone appeared to be waiting for travel. His eccentricity was charming. Closing with friendly words, there was a strong sense of curiosity to see and hear more.
By the time Minden hit the stage, everyone was in the process of warming up to swerve to groovy tunes. Their songs are exciting and easy to enjoy, and the crowd danced to their melodic, happy pop. At times, the audience seemed to be an extension of members of the band because of the welcoming and fun interactions. They were sporting colorful outfits, which fit in well with the entire experience. Exchanges between them all were light-hearted and heavily influenced by a deep-rooted love for catchy sounds. The amount of dancing onstage with each other inspired an engaging performance.
It was evident that the main theme of the night was amazing soul music, and Magic Mouth injected a ton of funk, punk, and garage for the night. Steady and concise drum beats, pleasing guitar parts, along with a strong and significant bass made for an eye-opening discovery for those who have never been exposed to this band before. Chanticleer Tru, lead vocalist, delivered an unforgettable and mind blowing performance. Not only was his voice similar to many notable soul greats, but his dance moves persuaded the audience to lose all inhibition. They all perform together as though they have been collaborating for ages. The togetherness executed by the 4-piece exhibits screams a predetermined success.
Eager and impatient for the headliner and Portland’s best new band of the year (proclaimed by Willamette Weekly) the audience were confident in Shy Girls’ capability of making love to their ears. All of the musicians exuded confidence and a high comfort level of being onstage together. There were many smiles. The camaraderie between them all was apparent. The set list seemed to be carefully chosen, as the recipe of slower songs and faster songs seemed to be calculated perfectly. The music was clean and evoking strong emotion. They ended the night with the smoothest R&B the Portland music scene has to offer. Dan Vidmar has created something very special, and is quickly gaining steam for a reason.