PROJECT PABST 2015: MUSIC, SUN & A UNICORN!
Project Pabst has come and gone. My first year in and I would say it was a great success. Music was fantastic, Things ran timely (for the most part), the location was great, (next year will be a breeze with the new bridge open) but I do wish they would have provided more cover for retreat from the blazing sun. People were standing in the shadow of others to find some kind of relief. But hey, I guess things could have been worse. There was no shortage of beer, although I heard many grumblings about the lack of selection. I mean you have to remember where we are, and what it’s called Project Pabst. Portland, Oregon is a micro-brew mecca, so I guess the groans makes sense.
Day 1: Musically speaking, the band Priory gave me great pleasure and a great way to kick off the “festival”. I have been on their trail since 2010, and I did a piece with them here on S.S. (read here) and no surprise, they have now signed to Warner.
I was able to give Laura Jean (Against Me!) props for blazing the transgender trail long before Caitlyn Jenner, and the set was amazing and raw as ever. Velevet Teen blew my mind as I was only very recently familiar with them, and Thee Oh Sees were fucking incredible per usual. TV On The Radio, was sheer brilliance, they just keep getting better, and musically more articulate. Back to the other stage, Run The Jewels, pretty much fuckin blew the place apart, and I was instantly won over by the energy of their set. These guys are on a fast track up, and its not a surprise at all.
The whole day was great, including headliner Blondie. She may be a 70 year old woman but Blondie proves that age is just a number, she rolled through her hits like a consumate professional. Heat or not, she is a icon who brings you back in time with songs like “Heart of Glass”, or even the more recent “Maria”. She just has that feel good appeal.
Day 2: the sun was upon us again, and once I was able to accept the fact of the incredible discomfort of the heat. I sought out more shade, drank more water … maybe you could say I was in a bit of a “survival mode”, since I knew I would be there for most of the day. I did arrive a bit late, but I did manage to catch the set of Alvvays, who I have really enjoyed over the last year or so. They weren’t exactly the most entertaining band, but I enjoyed their tight sound.
I quickly ran over to catch the set of Aimee Mann’s new project The Both, and I am glad I did. I forget how good her vocals are and her comfort in front of a audience.
Passion Pit was up next, and frankly I was stoked to hear these guys live again. I just needed some musical energy to refuel my tank, cause the sun was sapping me dry. And when they took the stage, the crowd reacted as if I weren’t the only one.
Buzzcocks were next and I was pretty blown away, by how fuckin tight these punk legends sounded. It was full on, from beginning to end, and the crowd ate it up.
Lastly…. Weezer. I’m a fan, and not one time have I been disappointed. They just have such a fun catalogue of music, and the crowd was more than happy to sing along to all of the songs you either loved or hated, but it was the best way to close out two brutal days of mother nature and her hot flashes.
The festival overall was great, and I can see this continually growing, but I think PBR needs to snatch up some microbrews, so they can offer a deeper selection of beer. Between the heat and the beer, the PNW can be a tough sell, but I hope to make it back next year.