What can we say? Big Ass Boom Box is a rocking success. We would like to dole out many props to Arya Imig & Eirean Bradley and all the bands, venues, and performers for organizing this well-run eclectic fun-ass event. KS is excited to see such a big convoy from our older sister in rock and roll; Seattle, as well as a fine selection of local Portland groups.
We catch a Portland favorite Pictorials at Backspace first. These guys have a tight new-wave aesthetic which bounces along with rich pop jingles and jangles like a golden retriever wearing a million-dollar cow-bell. Their songs are thoughtful and memorable. On stage, they seem to take part in the audience as we take part in the performance.
The Hoot Hoots are nextdoor at Someday Lounge, where a juiced crowd is jumping up and down in front of four rockstars, all sporting rainbow striped dream coats. These guys must have a cult following since the crowd is packed, singing along and hopping around crazily, and we can see why. Between the lead man’s blue LED glasses and the keyboardists awesome interpretive facial expressions, The Hoot Hoots bring the music and the show. Have a listen to the infectious vocal choruses and radical pop in The Hoot Hoot’s music.
Mobbing over to our favorite 110 year old Biker-Bar turned hipster-dive Kelly’s Olympian, we catch the tail end of The New York Rifles, Portland punk stars rip up the stage with their energetic brand of loud rock and roll.
Going on a suggestion from festival organizer Eirean Bradley, we head back to Someday to see A Happy Death. The first thing one notices about this band is that they are completely unapologetic. The lead singer jumps on drums, amps, whatever he can find while belting out incoherent mumbles over brazen pop rock guitars. Their stylistic choices turned some off, but the aromatic boldness with which A Happy Death brews up their stuff left a pretty good taste in our mouths.
The night concludes in an epic climax as the fully inebriated crowd at Kelly’s throws down to Charts. At this point, we’ve all been trying to compensate for the free admission with drink sales—and even the band is pretty sloshy. The drummer and vocalist brings the free-flowing rock music, and the bassist brings the hilarious drunken antics. Check out our photos of him rocking out ontop the shoulders of a lucky fan, or passed out on the floor still shredding. We haven’t been to a show this fun in quite some time, and the experience leaves us totally looking forward to Big Ass Boom Box 2014.
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