[This post was started weeks ago...I'm just now getting around to finishing it]
Last night, Gabe solidified his position as my new concert buddy in Portland. He certainly does not replace Courtney, Ted, Dale, and Dan, but his name can now be added to that short yet distinguished list of Hall of Famers.
Since our first concert 2 weeks ago, we've been to 3 shows together. I've been meaning to blog about each of them individually, so this post seems as good a time as any to give a little synopsis.
Our first show together was The Hives at the Crystal Ballroom. We started the night off in the balcony (a la the Built to Spill show) but I could tell Gabe was itchin' to get down on the floor. The Crystal Ballroom is an interesting venue with a little something I like to call the Great Divide. Mature drinkers on one side, under aged non-drinkers on the other, with a big wide aisle between the two, so ne'er a cup of beer can be passed between the two (guaranteed by security force posted throughout the aisle). Seeing as how Gabe has only recently turned 21, I think he felt akin to the young rowdy bunch bouncing around on the kids' side (courtesy of the bouncy floor at the Crystal Ballroom). Since we weren't drinking, I didn't protest to hangin' with the kids. This decision resulted in my first foray into a pit in a long long time. I couldn't exactly call it a mosh pit...there weren't any mean and angry 16 year olds in Korn t-shirts randomly throwing punches and taking out all of their teen angst on the other mean and angry 16 year olds. It was one of those fun, happy, pin-ball machine kinds of pits. I have to say that it felt good to get in there and bounce my little heart out. The only downfall was the tween sweat that I was covered in when the night came to an end. Here's a picture of us after we got back to the car...if you look closely you can see that our shirts are soaked. Sick.
Our next show was Feist at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (which is an incredibly beautiful venue and home of the iconic Portland sign). Now, I've been to a lot of shows in my short existence, and I'd put this in the top 3. I want to be Feist. She was amazing. She has this voice that is pure and beautiful with just the right amount of grit. And come to think of it, that's how I'd describe her as well. She was incredibly personable and fun, a strong woman, but still soft and lovely. She rocked the guitar, dazzled the crowd, and looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself. She even opened the stage up for a talent show mid-way through and was thrilled to death with the brave performers. Lovely, that is really the only word.
If you haven't already seen this video, I highly recommend you check it out.
Finally, we went to check out Quasi at Dantes (this little dive in SW). If you haven't heard of them, maybe this little quote from a fan will peak your interest, "Quasi is sort of a dedicated indie rock fan's wet dream." Eh? Eh? They are this very gritty, low-fi duo who belt out their harmonies and rock it on the drums and a portable keyboard. The last time I saw Quasi was on March 21, 2003. You may wonder why I know the date of a show seen over 4 years ago. But, March 21, 2003 was the day of "Shock and Awe" and Quasi was NOT happy about Shock and Awe. They were down-trodden and angst ridden and I'm surprised they even went on. Sam Coomes kept hanging his head low and grabbing his hair like the tortured soul that he was. He was wearing a white t-shirt with an anti-war slogan written on the front in black marker. They played their music, but it lacked the pep and soul that makes it so good. They were really just going through the motions. Needless to say, it wasn't the best show I'd ever been to. But, I really liked Quasi and I knew they usually were amazing, so I thought I'd give them a second chance. They totally pulled through on this one and delivered an incredible (and very happy) show.