I joined my fellow concert-goers at The Crystal Ballroom with mixed emotions on Thursday for the final night of 94/7's December To Remember. After twelve days of back-to-back shows, many repeat attendees were sleep-deprived, out of clean clothes, and had spent enough time at The Crystal that they had begun to think of it as a second home - and yet, no one really wanted the party to stop. Fortunately for us, Portland rockers Wampire and Portugal. The Man were on hand to give December To Remember a proper send-off.
It was perhaps fitting that a concert series that started (sort of) with Tame Impala would kick off its final concert with Wampire, since no other Dec2Rem band could come close to matching Tame Impala's sound or killer light show. Although songs like "The Hearse" and "Giants" have garnered attention for their MGMT-like sound, seen live, Wampire's most notable characteristic is how hard they rock - they jammed so intensely I could feel it in the back of my throat.
Not to be outdone, Portugal. The Man came out swinging, starting off the final set of December To Remember with their recent hit, "Purple Yellow Red and Blue," before launching into a veritable greatest hits collection that included "People Say," Evil Friends," "Modern Jesus," "Got It All," and a cover of "Day Man" from Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Usually, once a band plays all of their singles, it's time to call it a night, but Portland's favorite sons decided to take it up a notch, launching into a series of brilliant covers that included a mash-up of "Creep in a T-Shirt" and Blur's "Song 2" as well as a mash-up of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall" and "Purple Yellow Red and Blue." When the band finally stopped for breath, bass player Zachary Carothers took a moment to pay tribute to Portland ("The best city in the world!"), 94/7 (the first radio station to give them airplay), and the Crystal Ballroom (where Zachary saw his first show after moving to Portland), before launching into a barn-burner of an encore, closing out with a mash-up of "Sleep Forever" and The Beatles "Hey Jude."
After nearly two weeks of shows, it was hard to bid farewell to the Crystal Ballroom, but there's no doubting that this December To Remember was one for the record books. From newcomers like Lorde, The Neighbourhood, and The Mowglis to veterans like Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, and Portugal. The Man, 94/7 and Crystal Ballroom managed to make this December truly memorable.