Welcome to the second installment of our coverage of MusicFestNW 2013!
Want to see how much someone loves live music? Invite them to go see a concert with you in the pouring rain. While this probably isn't the only litmus test of someone's show-going bona fides, it's definitely one way to pick out the dedicated fans from the more casual concert-goers. And by this metric, Portland is no slouch in the Dedicated Fan department, let me tell you.
Despite consistent (and at times torrential) rains, a few hundred of Portland's more adventurous souls trudged downtown on Thursday for the first of MusicFestNW's headliner shows in Pioneer Courthouse Square. By the time Young the Giant took the stage, a small sea of Gortex-hooded Portlanders had gathered to greet them, and the band made sure that their water-logged fans were well-rewarded for their trek. Heedless of the elements, lead singer Sameer Gadhia led his bandmates in a raucous, fast-paced set that included old favorites such as "Cough Syrup" (which the crowd went nuts for) and "Strings" as well as several new tracks from their forthcoming sophmore album, including "Anagram" and "Firelight."
(Young the Giant)
Friday evening brought us back to Pioneer Courthouse Square for Animal Collective, who packed an impressive crowd into Pioneer Courthouse Square for their show. However, despite boasting probably largest turnout of any MFNW show, the crowd was surprisingly sedate, and I found myself skipping out a few minutes before the close of their set to join a crowd of people making pilgrimage to The Old Church to see local favorites Typhoon.
Typhoon's fans were all over it - for their second show of MFNW, old and new fans alike packed into The Old Church to the gills to hear Typhoon jam with reckless abandon. For the uninitiated, Typhoon is an ensemble of 10-14 musicians (with a somewhat fluid lineup) headed by lead singer Kyle Morton. Trumpets, horns, violins, and not one but two (!) drummers - they've got it all. Typhoon collects musicians the way The Polyphonic Spree collects robes, but it works. The resultant sound is something quite unique - sort of like Phil-Spektor's-Wall-of-Sound-meets-The-Decemberists.
Later that evening, I had the privilege of seeing Washed Out take the stage at Mississippi Studios. Some bands you go see and even if you've never heard their stuff before, you know within about 30 seconds that you've fallen in love with said band. Washed Out is one of those bands. Ernest Greene's music combines dreamy, ethereal vocals with killer beats and impressive guitar work, and while he may be known to Portland audiences primarily as The Guy Who Did That "Feel It All Round" song for the TV show Portlandia, Washed Out's new album Paracosm is generating quite a lot of buzz as well. Tracks like "It All Feels Right" and "Don't Give Up" are two of Ernest's more popular recent songs - they're both worth a listen or two.
Check back soon as we conclude our recap of the best shows from MusicFestNW!