Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Port City action past and future (Krs One is on the way)
Okay, sorry no posts for a while but it's hard to find the time. I have been wanting to write about two shows that I recently attended here in Portland, ME. Both were at the same venue, a newish place called Port City Music Hall(pix above left). It is a place that doesn't look like much from the outside, kind of run down and dumpy actually, with lots of sketch looking concert posters that have no color, advertising the upcoming shows. Once you enter however it is a whole different story. Upon entering there is a lounge area outfitted with very hip, cool sofas and small tables and chairs. Really classy decor, totally redone inside from what it was previously (a sports bar type of deal)it has cool chandeliers and shiny wood floors and just a stylish vibe. The biggest and most important thing about it is a 500,000 dollar investment by the owner on the sound. After seeing the two shows previously mentioned, I can say it was well worth it, it sounded great in there. They have the option for regular general admission tix and also VIP which seats you at private tables to the right of the stage on a slightly raised area with it's own bar.
Okay to the shows....
First show I saw at Port City was the "alternative bluegrass" band called Crooked Still. We (my wife and I) had seen them several years ago in Cambridge when they were first making a name for themselves and we enjoyed it and their cd very much. So when we heard that they were coming to Portland we got tickets right away. The band consists of vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, banjo player Dr. Gregory Liszt, bassist Corey DiMario, cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas. They are known for "their high energy, technical skill, unusual instrumentation and innovative acoustic style" according to wikipedia. They put on a great show, the lead singer has a great voice and lots of karisma on stage, sort of a cute charisma. They were just a breath of fresh air and the sound in the venue, as I said before was great!
Ain't No Grave:
And then a couple of weeks after this show we returned to Port City and saw Neko Case!! I had seen her before together with The New Pornographers, of whom she is a member of (they are a Canadian super group), but to see her solo I knew would be another story. I loved her album "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" and the latest, Middle Cyclone was even better. This show was so tight, so professional, sooo good. Her voice is a like a goddess, she really has a beautiful and unique voice. The place was packed for this show. Unlike the Crooked Still show where the band requested seating and I think the venue was okay with it because it wasn't sold out, for Neko's show it was standing room which is about 600 plus people in a small space. All these bodies made for a steamy atmosphere, and we had a great view because my wife and I slithered our way up pretty close. she had a pretty elaborate in a DIY way stage set-up and she seemed to be very particular about things like sound and light and positioning of amps and such but once she got it all sorted out they rocked the house. Everyone was alternately rapt and rowdy (at the appropriate time) and I think Portland showed her a lot of love. It was a great experience. The harmonies between her and her back up singer were transcendent! They just took you away. Here are some pics from this show I got sent to me from Bryan Bruchman:
check more pix from Bryan Bruchman here
People Got a Lot of Nerve-mp3
And last, KRS One, Yes Mr. Knowledge Reigns supreme Over Nearly Every One is coming to Port City next month, the 18th with Buckshot. Wow. A legend, this place just keeps getting great shows... Keep them coming!!
Here is one of my all-time favorite hip hop songs, maybe the first that I memorized all the lyrics to, or was that "the fat boys are back"?
New Joint from album coming out 3 days before he plays here:
Posted by El Manicero at 2:31 PM