April: A Month of Portland Concerts in 20 Songs

From Prince Rama’s ’80s inspired psych rock to Elgar’s 1908 classic Symphony no. 1, the concert scene in Portland this month runs the musical gamut.

By Claire Colby March 29, 2016

Headphoneskev shine d1xwwp

April may be the cruelest month—but not for Portland’s music lovers. Whether your tastes run toward blues, indie rock, or classical, let this 20-song playlist act as a guide to help you get a feel for this month’s concert calendar.

Apr 1: Prince Rama, “Your Life in the End”: Bathe yourself in girl power and glam rock magic with this track while rocking out in your living room. Want to bring the party to a public dance floor? Let it rock at the Doug Fir Lounge.

Apr 1 & 2: Dark Star Orchestra, “Up All Night”: After nearly 17 years of playing the Grateful Dead’s old concert set lists, showcasing each era of the Grateful Dead hits, Dark Star Orchestra has something to offer both established Deadheads and new fans.

Apr 4: Little Green Cars, “The John Wayne”: This indie and folk rock band from Dublin, Ireland has killer harmonies and a hypnotically smooth twang.

Apr 6: Robert Cray, “Blues Get Off My Shoulder”: A cool mix of blues and soul, Robert Cray’s sound harks back to the late, great O.V. Wright.

Apr 7: Tinashe, “Player”: This 22-year-old R&B singer and songwriter may have started her music career in a teenage girl group, mostly notably opening for the likes of Justin Bieber, but make no mistake, Tinashe’s style and sound are all grown-up now.

Apr 8: Marko Benevento, “In the Afternoon Tomorrow”: With a cool blend of alternative rock and jazzy electro-pop, keyboardist Marko Benevento draws inspiration from New Age structures and the chill vibes of the 1970s.

Apr 14: Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre”: Written as a spoken-style commentary, this nearly 20-minute-long, humorous yet poignant track somehow keeps you engaged even after the final notes. Guthrie will play the whole thing live.

Apr 9–11: Oregon Symphony, Elgar’s “Symphony no. 1 in A Flat, Op. 55: ll. Allegro molto”: Based on the life of the Crimea War General Charles Gordon, Elgar’s first opus was immediately deemed a success at its 1908 London debut.

Apr 11: Shook Twins, “Time to Swim”: April showers got you down? Try listening to this folk-rock ballad from local band Shook Twins to get you through.

Apr 13: The Arcs, “Outta My Mind”: Born as a side project by the Black Keys’ front man, Dan Auerbach, the Arcs bear a striking resemblance to the Black Keys while peddling a sound still very much their own.

Apr 13: Live Wire Radio feat. Liz Vice, “Entrance”: Spinning a fusion of '60s soul and gospel music, the Portland-based songstress’ powerful and smooth vocals will perfectly fill Mississippi Studios.

Apr 13: Thundercat, “Oh Sheit It’s X”: With a funky R&B and electronic mixture, Thundercat’s incredible bass skills bagged him a Grammy this year for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly.

Apr 14: Laura Gibson, “Empire Builder”: If you love folk-pop, this Oregon native is for you. The classically trained cellist creates effortlessly beautiful rhythms with her intimate, airy voice, now heard on new album Empire Builder.

Apr 15: Sharon Jones, “How Long do I Have to Wait for You?”: The Brooklyn soul queen ascended her throne later in life, but she’s made up for lost time by winning Grammys and selling out the Apollo Theater.

Apr 16: 2Cellos, "Smooth Criminal": These two classically trained Croatian cellists became a viral phenomenon for their covers of poplar mainstream music on YouTube—their version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal that landed them on the TV show GLEE. The duo is back with the album Celloverse.

Apr 17: Parov Stelar, “All Night”: Running out of steam near the end of the day? Turn up this funky “electro swing” EDM style track with a bouncing beat to get you recharged.

Apr 17: Bonnie Raitt, “Unintended Consequences of Love”: She may be 66, but Bonnie Raitt hasn’t lost an ounce of her country-rock spunk, as her self-produced, 20th studio album, Dig in Deep, testifies.

Apr 21: Frightened Rabbit, “The Woodpile”: Founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2004, this band embodies a rowdy and irreverent pop spirit. With added Scots pride.

Apr 23: Black Mountain, “Wucan”: Hailing from Vancouver, B.C., the band somehow melds blues, psychedelic, and acid rock.

Apr 28: The Subways, “Rock & Roll Queen”: This British, alternative rock trio went gold in the U.S. back in 2006 with “Rock & Roll Queen.” Let their tunes transport you back to the pinnacle of punk-inspired glory.

Show Comments