5 Must-See Bands At Project Pabst

The brand new music fest features a line-up of 42 acts over 3 nights, including Tears for Fears, Modest Mouse, and Violent Femmes. Here's our shortlist of five must-see bands.

By Matthew Schonfeld September 24, 2014

PBR plans to drench the South Portland Zidell Yards this weekend in sonic brew. The music fest runs Saturday and Sunday from 1–9 pm and features night shows at multiple venues across Portland on Friday and Saturday.

Yesterday we spoke with Matt Slessler, Pabst's man in charge, about the inception of Portland's newest festival on the block. Check out the interview here.  

Tickets are available for $35 a day or $60 for the weekend. Friday and Saturday night shows range from $10 to $25 and are sold seperately. We're also giving away a pair of passes.

Enter to win weekend passes.


Tears For Fears
Saturday at 7:15
The British new wave juggernaut produced a slew of iconic hits through the 80s and 90s, all complete with hazy, enthralling hooks, sweeping guitar effects, and those deep, hollow drums that have become synonymous with the era—and have continued to soundtrack seemingly everything from karaoke bars to nostalgic frat parties to wedding DJ lineups. Which isn't to say the duo stopped making music in the '90s (though it did for a bit). There was 2004's Everybody Loves a Happy Ending and a series of singles last year covering Arcade Fire, Hot Chip, and Animal Collective. Of course, if you count yourself as one amongst everybody, all you'll want to do is rule the world.

Modest Mouse
Sunday at 7pm 
For over two decades the Portland-based outfit has been perfecting their gruff and sweet indie stylings. With frontman Isaac Brock’s signature voice—an endearingly honest brand of folk with the power to flip into a sharp yarl at any point—at the forefront, the band boasts a handful of unique, genre-defining classics.
 Modest Mouse has famously resided in PDX for years, exemplified by a portrait of Brock wearing lederhosen and standing in front of a wild boar that hung in former mayor Sam Adams’ office.


Menomena // Small Black // Animal Eyes
Friday, Wonder Ballroom, at 8pm  
Portland Mercury is sponsoring three concerts at venues across town on Friday night, and while all boast line-inducing bills, one lures us more than the rest. Menomena and Animals Eyes are a natural match up—both Portland-rooted experimental indie bands with dynamic, pulsing sounds. Of course, Menomena is more seasoned, with five acclaimed albums in their catalogue, but Animal Eyes—an Alaskan prog rock five-piece who moved to Portland in 2010 in part because of the band they're opening for—have turned local heads with their latest EP Ursus, available for $4 on the band’s Bandcamp page. Sandwiched in the bill is chillwave foursome Small Black, coming by way of Brooklyn. The band’s distinctive mode of synthpop should slide fittingly between both of Portland’s own.  


Saturday, 5:15pm 
Matthew Houck started his career as Phosphorescent in 2003 as a young mellow folk singer from Athens, Georgia. In the singer’s formative decade since his debut, he’s grown his beard bushier, moved north to Brooklyn, and released six self-produced studio albums, most notably Muchacho, his latest and most masterful work to date. Houck’s alt-country ways are enchanting, courting ears with deftly stripped lyricism and a keen, multidimensional sound.


Shabazz Palaces
Sunday, 5pm
Not many names stick out in the fringe world of off-brand, experimental hip-hop—except for Ishmael Butler (aka Palaceer Lazaro), that is. The Seattle rapper caught eyes in the early '90s and aughts with his underground jazz-rap duo Digable Planets, but it wasn’t until he linked with multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire in 2009 that Butler truly honed his craft and garnered pervasive acclaim as Shabazz Palaces. The group’s brand of rap is multifarious, tightly woven together strands of west coast hip-hop, spacey experimentation, and funk and soul-reaching roots. They’re Pacific Northwest pride shines true, too, having mentored and readily collaborated with Seattle’s THEESatisfaction, whose concert you might have caught at
PICA’s TBA Festival kick off event last week. 

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