It’s been a long time coming, but Empty Space Orchestra’s new album is here, and that means the local instrumental rock band has a CD-release show on Thursday. I caught up with ESO last week and we talked about their popularity in Bend and taking their show to new towns.
“I don’t really feel like I want it to happen faster,” guitarist Shane Thomas said. “I mean, it would be nice if it would, but we know we’ll have to go to other cities and play for, like, 15 and 20 people. That’s nothing that’s old for us, but it’s definitely nice to be able to come back here and play for (big crowds).”
Saxophonist Graham Jacobs said the band is “pretty excited” to play new towns, a point drummer Lindsey Elias reiterated after acknowledging that well-attended Bend shows are always a boost.
“But it’s also nice to really get in front of the few people that are there in those different cities that have … virgin ears,” she said. “That’s what’s fun, to see people’s reactions to something they’ve never seen before.”
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(There is another video of Ozomatli performing in Bend on Frequency’s YouTube channel.)
Like most of Bend — OK, not most, but a lot of people — Feedback got swept up in last week’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Bend. I loved Rubblebucket’s music, missed Todd Haaby, and was wowed by the crowd for the headliner, Ozomatli.
It was a sea of party-hungry humanity: beers aloft, kids on shoulders, smiling faces, sombreros flying through the air and folks finding whatever space they could to dance to the sounds of Ozomatli, the L.A.-based Latin fusion band that headlined the night and charged through a set of fiery songs that only fueled the celebration.
Ozomatli has become world famous for its versatility, and they showcased it in Bend, bouncing easily from hip-hop to cumbia to funk to reggae to straight-up punk rock, reflecting the cosmopolitan sprawl of their hometown. Highlights included the stomping rap-rock of “City of Angels,” an epic, brassy ranchera tune called “Caballito” and “La Temperatura,” a heavily Latin-flavored number that inspired chaos among the crowd.
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Elsewhere in the music section: Tyler Fortier brings his excellent songs to the Silver Moon, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers return to town, members of the Hieroglyphics crew headline a hip-hop show and The Bobby Lindstrom band and Sisters Americana Project celebrate new CDs, plus Cicada Omega, Will West and Mumbo Gumbo, and a Last Band Standing update.