The 2014 Pet Aid fundraising concert event was held last Sunday afternoon in the scorching heat of Portland, Oregon in the beautiful surroundings of Sellwood Riverfront Park. Portland’s alt-rock radio station 94.7 fm coordinated the event and donated a portion of proceeds to benefit Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS). MCAS is the only open door shelter in Portland, and is the primary agency responsible for lost pet care, animal abuse investigations and animal rescue.
The fine folks at the local radio station chose some of today’s hottest buzz-worthy alt-rock bands to join in the festivities, so I’m told. The day got started with the Stockholm, Sweden synth-pop band NONONO (pictured left), lead by frontwoman Stina Wäppling. The Swedish group set the tone for the day when they got the prompt arriving crowd jumping with their electro-pop dancefloor anthem “Pumpin Blood,” off their debut album We Are Only What We Feel, released one month ago.
Next up was the Orange County, California quartet The Colourist. Someone should inform the band that it’s only cool to purposely misspell the word “color” if you’re from anywhere other than the U.S. The current pride and joy of the OC provided a relaxing set tunes from the band’s debut self-titled LP that was released back in March.
The highlight of the day came from the third band to take the stage, SKATERS, a New York City garage rock band. The group performed a high energy set of tunes mostly from the band’s debut album Manhattan, including the single “Schemers” and the crowd pleasing”Deadbolt.” Look for SKATERS (pictured right} this fall when they come to a city near you, they’re scheduled to provide support for The Orwells upcoming North American tour. SKATERS by far delivered the best set of the afternoon, and I can only assume they were all the rage around the water cooler down at the 94.7 studio headquarters on Monday.
Wild Cub (pictured left), the Nashville, Tennessee by way of Portland, Oregon band had the unfortunate task of following the SKATERS set. The indie-pop quintet did their best to provide a fun, foot tapping set led by multi-instrumentalist frontman Keegan DeWitt, a former resident of the city of roses. Mr. DeWitt’s set not only included the alt-rock chart topping single “Thunder Clatter,” but was also laced with Wikipedia style Portland banter between every tune.
By the time Bear Hands (pictured bottom right) hit the stage for their late afternoon headlining set, many of the Portland hipsters had just about enough of alt-rock and the sun for one day. What was left of the crowd were treated to the Brooklyn based band’s hit single “Giants,” as well as other soon to be alt-rock classics from their 2014 sophomore album “Distraction.”
Thirst was quenched by Laurelwood Brewing Co., a local craft brew fave . The beer garden was packed all day long as the brewery’s offerings included their Mother Lode Golden Ale, Pale Pony ISA, Free Range Red, and the delicious Workhorse IPA. Laurelwood Owner Mike De Kalb and his staff serviced a nonstop flow people the entire day with a generous pour of 5 dollar beers. Yeah, you read that right, good beer for only 5 bucks, instead the usual crappy beer for 9 bucks at a music fest, what a novel concept. It appeared as if the beer was more popular than the music, I could be wrong.