Donald would disapprove of the headline
I was in a rush to get to Corvallis when I first arrived in Portland.
I know that sounds weird. What Oregon resident is ever in a rush to get to Corvallis?
I was. I held a ticket to arguably the biggest Civil War college football game ever – Oregon playing at Oregon State for the right to play in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. And as a new Oregonian, it was imperative I make it to the game.
Since then, I haven’t been back to Corvallis. Cue the standard Portland response: “You aren’t missing much.” Overall, I have traveled south of Portland about five times total in 18 months living here, and I do feel like I am missing something. Whether I am missing Corvallis is another story.
Today might be one of those blessed days where I get on Interstate 5 and aim south – just for the hell of it.
Someday I want to attend South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It’s a bar-hopping live music extravaganza of epic proportions featuring fresh-faced local bands and grizzled national acts.
Portland’s MusicFest Northwest is what I imagine South by Southwest is like, albeit smaller and in the Pacific Northwest. (Duh!)
I witnessed everyone from veteran post-rock outfit Explosions In The Sky and dynamic Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to local buzz bands And And And and Ages and Ages during the three days I attended MusicFest Northwest 2011.
It was a solid festival. I would hesitate to call it great because the headlining options — Iron and Wine, Explosions in the Sky, Band of Horses –could have been better. But overall I enjoyed myself.
Macklemore crushin' it!
Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a kingmaking performance Friday night inside Portland’s Roseland Theater as part of MusicFest Northwest 2011. The show had everything you could ask for: incredible music, incredible crowd energy, and incredible charisma from Macklemore.
Prior to Friday night, I had heard a few tracks from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I enjoyed. If I had any doubts about attending the show, Portland weekly newspaper Willamette Week ended them by blasting Macklemore on its cover this week. The music and the hype were enough to bring me and 1,200 others out.
The crowd reaction two songs in was about as deafening as I have heard in a venue this size. You would have sworn Macklemore was hip-hop Jesus incarnate. I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first. White rapper hype can be deceiving, especially in a place as vanilla as Portland. But Macklemore earned every ounce of the crowd’s love.