The temperatures may have dipped ever so slightly Saturday, but the fire that is the Pickathon lineup didn’t let up.
From the funky sounds of New Orleans-own Tank and the Bangas, to the southern rock of Drive-By Truckers, Saturday more than held its own with the first two days of the Happy Valley, Oregon, music festival.
Scroll to see photos and reviews from Pickathon, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017.
Tank and the Bangas
Tank and the Bangas are all about the storytelling, with songs that crash one into another like two girlfriends unpacking a year’s adventures for each other with you-won’t-believe-this theatricality.
Related: Scenes from Pickathon 2017, Friday
A reworked version of the group’s revenge fantasy song “Quick” (the video that won the Tiny Desk contest this year), came near the start, but the set grew stronger as it went. Frontwoman Tarriona “Tank” Ball played every moment to the hilt, vamping with the band, imploring the crowd to dance, changing from spoken word, to a childlike squeal, to Broadway belt and soulful croon from one moment to the next. Despite the incredibly energetic performance, the songs unfolded stories of loss, like the precise moment of knowing a boyfriend would leave (for preparing eggs and grits sunny side up instead of scrambled.)
For this show, the overflow audience at the Woods Stage spilled up the hillside far from the stage and viewers were treated to one of the best performances this year at Pickathon. — Dave Christenson
Brooklyn’s Sunflower Bean might be among the youngest performers at this year’s Pickathon, but they impressed me as much as any act that I’ve seen this weekend. Between the band’s tight instrumental interplay and singer-guitarist Julia Cumming’s equal-parts-giddy-and-snarling persona, jangle pop is in very, very good hands. — Mike Dempsey
Hiss Golden Messenger
As the sun began to set on Saturday night at the Mount Hood stage, Durham, North Carolina, outfit Hiss Golden Messenger launched into a set of laid back Americana that could’ve served as the soundtrack to any great Western road trip. It was a nearly flawless performance accented by mandolin and twangy guitars that were capped by a rendition of the band’s appropriately named party tune, “Saturday’s Song.” — Jerad Walker
Jalen N’Gonda quickly traveled all the way from Liverpool, England, to fill a last-minute gap in the Pickathon lineup, but you wouldn’t have known it from his assured and soulful afternoon performance on the Woods Stage. His impeccable voice sounded lovely as it wafted through the trees, offering a sweet, sweet backdrop for the multitude of hammock hangers. — Mike Dempsey
As the Drive-By Truckers were waiting to take the stage on Saturday night, I overheard someone in the crowd sheepishly say, “I hope they aren’t as loud as their soundcheck.”
He might have been the only person who walked away unhappy after the group’s headlining performance at the Mount Hood Stage. The Athens, Georgia, southern rock band tore through a set of politically-charged anthems and shot a much-needed dose of energy into the crowd as a full moon rose into the hazy sky. — Jerad Walker
Pinegrove’s “Cardinal” was my favorite record of 2016, and the band has made its way through the Portland area a few times since then, but life just kept getting in the way. Saturday night was my first chance to see them in person. Looks like word got out: Pickathon positioned them with two of the best time and stage slots of the festival, and in their first set of the weekend, they rose to the occasion.
Acting as the ringleader of a kind of massive group therapy session, Evan Stephens Hall and crew brought a razor-sharp edge and intensity to songs that on record were already vivid. Is emo-country a thing? Well, it is now, and I’m not sure where it’s been all my life. — Mike Dempsey
What’s a Saturday afternoon on the Pendarvis’ farm without a little punk rock? Priests delivered a dose of adrenaline in their high-octane performance on the Mount Hood stage.
The Washington, D.C., band released their debut studio album “Nothing Feels Natural” earlier this year, and tore through tracks from that releases as well as previous releases in their 50-minute set. Did we mention that frontwoman Katie Alice Greer was belting her heart out in a prom dress? — Bryan M. Vance
More photos from Saturday’s slate of shows:
Got a case of F.O.M.O.? Don’t. You can follow Pickathon on opbmusic all weekend long with a live video stream, photos and reviews.