Summer is here! (Almost.) And so are the free, outdoor concert series around Central Oregon. Portland bands The Lights Out and Rosa’s Buds will kick off Les Schwab Amphitheater’s free Summer Sunday Concerts series on Sunday, and we’ve got the rest of that lineup and a roundup of other series right here.
Portland electro-pop wizards The Helio Sequence came to Bend June 3 to play the PDXchange Program concert series. You can watch several videos of the show here, and here’s an excerpt of my review:
The band’s records are wonderful, warm baths of electro-indie-pop, equal parts organic and synthetic. Brandon Summers’ voice is honeyed, and his melodies float like cotton-candy clouds. And Benjamin Weikel is a machine on the drums, not literally, of course — don’t you hate it when people misuse literally? — but his rhythm seems metronomic, and he looks animatronic as he works.
Helio’s set list stuck mostly to the band’s excellent 2008 album “Keep Your Eyes Ahead,” though they sprinkled in the best bits from 2004’s “Love and Distance.” The set was nicely paced, ramping up from a relaxed beginning to a second-half stretch that included some of the band’s very best songs.
Of particular note was “Everyone Knows Everyone,” a buoyant tune about living in a town with a tight-knit music scene, and the title track from “Keep Your Eyes Ahead,” with its needle-sharp, high-pitched guitar licks that would sound quite cozy on just about any Modest Mouse song.
Summers and Weikel closed their set with the roiling melancholy of “Lately” (as a perfectly psychedelic light show shone behind them) and “Hallelujah” before calling ESO drummer Lindsey Elias onto the stage for “Harmonica Song.”
I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Crunchy Texas country-rock band The Preservation plays Silver Moon, Taarka principals David Tiller and Enion Pelta-Tiller do a special duo show at The Wine Shop, Texas songwriting master Eric Taylor comes to town for a house concert, and The Annex hosts a benefit for a Redmond woman in need of a lung transplant, plus David Jacobs-Strain, Broken Down Guitars, Audiolized and Dust Bunny Monster, and an update on Last Band Standing. If that won’t do, you can always find more options in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.