We'd like to think that no matter where in the city you were this past weekend, if you listened closely, you could've heard the soundtrack of the city blasting from under the Hawthorne Bridge. That's where PDX Pop Now, the annual festival focused on local music, was tickling our ear drums with bands we loved and bands we didn't know we loved until now.
As always, the setting was laid-back, the audience members were as friendly as the volunteers, and the bands milled around with fans, instead of hiding backstage—another triumph for a festival that has a lot of success to live up to (read our story about their past 10 years).
But don't take our word for it. We asked six of the bands to share their highlights.
Going into the weekend, I was looking forward to...
"...seeing all our friends' bands play. I was especially stoked to see Eyelids—they're amazing musicians and it's really rad to watch them perform." –Marc Swart of Summer Cannibals
"...playing our set on the outside stage. We were so thrilled to have been invited." –Bei Yan, vocalist and synths of Wishyunu (see our PPN preview to hear their music)
"...listening to new bands I've never seen play live before, but have known about them over time, such as Tezeta Band and Coma Serfs." –Papi Fimbres, bandleader of Orquestra Pacifico Tropical and percussionist of Minden (see our PPN preview to hear their music)
"...The Estranged. We were stoked about them being on the bill." –Brian, lead guitarist of The Cry!
"...reaching an all-ages audience... Young listeners are always excited about music, and that's exciting to me." –Vikesh Kapoor
"...kicking the shit out of Foxy Lemon in Rigsketball." –Steven Fusco, vocalist and guitarist of Psychomagic (see our PPN preview to hear their music)
The best moment was when...
"...the train horn blasted during our last number. It seemed to fit into what we were doing." –Yan of Wishyunu
"...standing on the stage as the sun was setting for my last show of a very lengthy tour." –Vikesh Kapoor
"...[I was] stage-diving during our set. The crowd was pretty nuts up front, so it was really cool to be a part of it for a little bit. The energy from everyone there was so amazing." –Swart of Summer Cannibals
"...[I was] sweating on the stage. Then I laid down and could feel the bass drum." –Scott Page, bassist of Psychomagic
"...the crowd went nuts, and so did we!" –Fimbres of Orquestra Pacifico Tropical and Minden
"...the stage hands were super cool and nice. And the sound guys were awesome. They weren't all uptight, they were cool." –Ray, guitarist of The Cry!
I was surprised by...
"...[the fact] that no one felt up Bonnie... Bonnie's our mannequin that we have onstage, the band's girlfriend." –Fusco of Psychomagic
"...free Kombucha backstage all weekend, which might not sound that crazy to some people, but I was stoked." –Swart of Summer Cannibals
"...so much culture being represented by our awesome city! Everywhere I walked, I saw people of different cultures, and that was such an amazing sight." –Papi Fimbres of Orquestra Pacifico Tropical and Minden
"...no surprises, just a solid festival with great volunteers." –Vikesh Kapoor
"...[when] a friend of a friend was injured during one of the basketball games. Hope he's okay." –Yan of Wishyunu
Here's hoping all the Rigsketball injuries, stage-diving battle wounds, and hangover headaches have subsided, leaving only the memories of a great weekend. Thanks PDX Pop Now. See you all next year.