Saturday was the 2nd annual Malt Ball at the Wonder Ballroom. It was a celebration of Portland music and breweries. As each of the bands paired with a brewery to make a specialty beer. The standouts were Sons Of Huns’ Kiss The Goat with Gigantic Brewery coming in at 6.66% ABV, Minden’s Popa Cherry tart beer with 10% ABV, and And And And’s Can Can Can from Fort George. But enough about beer, the music is what really brought me to the Malt Ball in the first place.
The first band that played was Street Nights, a four piece rock band. With classical rock influences, it’s easy to immediately enjoy their sound; with catchy riffs, great vocals, and some bad ass high-flying guitar solos. Street Nights have a full length album coming out in April called You Have My Word.
As Minden started to take the stage, more and more people started filling the venue and their drinking mugs. Minden has such a unique sound, it’s like seeing a really hip lounge band that puts out some of the freshest pop music.
After Minden’s rad set, Marty Marquis set up his solo set. The acoustic set was a nice change of pace for the early start. Marty’s solo music is much more mellow than what he normally plays in Blitzen Trapper. You can download his album Coronal Mass Vernacular for name your own price here.
A big change to the sound came when Hausu took the stage. With their brand of hardcore emo-punk rock, they ripped the stage with their guitars.
After Hausu came my most anticipated band of the day Old Light. They did not disappoint in the least. These older indie rockers of Portland shredded so many faces at the Wonder Ballroom. Lead vocalist/guitarist Garth Klippert has one of the coolest guitars that matches the sound that they put out. Check out their latest cassette release called NO down below.
The last band that came on for the first half of Malt Ball was Caleb Klauder’s Country Band. Obviously more on the side of country music the band still had elements of rock and roll. Though I didn’t stay too long to see them, they have a good sound. Check out their music here.
After a brief intermission and some food from Bunk Sandwiches the second showcase started with a bang with Divers. A unique mixture of punk and rock and roll makes up the sound of Divers. You can listen to their newest songs here.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground quickly took the stage after Divers and proceeded to rock everyone’s face off. With their surf-punk style of spazz-rock they got the crowd to start rocking out pretty hard.
After WIBG got done with their set, Gaytheist took to the ballroom stage with their blend of hard rock and emo-core sound. They rocked the crowd super hard, as more people started getting more beers in their belly. I really enjoy their recordings as well, check out Stealth Beats down below.
Local favorite And And And took the stage after Gaytheist was done slaying it. If you haven’t heard And And And or seen them live before, definitely take some time to get No Party into your earholes. These guys rip it so hard.
The last band that I caught for the night was Sons Of Huns. These guys have a classic heavy-rock/metal sound straight from the 80s. Sons Of Huns killed it as they were able to get a little mosh pit going towards the end of their set.
Malt Ball was a super fun time with amazing music and great beer all day long. I wish I could have stayed for Radiation City, but I had too much beer for the day. Hopefully this will be a tradition that will continue for many years.
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