(I was going to write this for today’s GO! Magazine, but we ran out of room. So here you go. Photos by me.)
I feel a little funny about even putting the word “review” in the title of this post. Because, frankly … I don’t have that much to say about folk-pop band Poor Moon‘s show Sunday at Les Schwab Amphitheater.
The band wasn’t amazing, but pleasant enough. Although I suppose if you consider the context of their performance, they were pretty much perfect.
You see, for me, the Schwab’s Summer Sunday Concerts are about the music. But that’s because I’m an abnormally passionate music nerd who will pounce at just about any chance I have to go see a band play, especially one good enough to score a deal with the unimpeachable Subpop Records label, and that shares two of its members with one of my favorite bands, Fleet Foxes. And especially when it’s free and it’s outside and the weather is wonderful and I can take my wife and kid, and, and, and …
I’m sure Poor Moon’s Christian Wargo is already tired of talking about his life and work in Fleet Foxes, and I’m not terribly interested in letting the stature of the Seattle-based indie-folk giants overshadow Wargo’s new band, either.
But I have to say, it was pretty tough to chat with him last week and not talk about his “other” band. I mean, Fleet Foxes is arguably my favorite band of the past five years. Fortunately, Wargo is a fine songwriter in his own right, and the Poor Moon songs we’ve heard so far point to a bright future for his new venture.
That venture continues this weekend when Poor Moon kicks off Les Schwab Amphitheater’s free Summer Sunday Concerts series. When we spoke, Wargo and I chatted about life on the road with a band that’s doing things a bit more DIY than, say, Fleet Foxes have been in recent years.
“It has been a real breath of fresh air for us,” he said. “Being in the van together with your bros, you get to see where you’re going, as opposed to a bus tour, where you go to bed and then you wake up in the next backstage area and it can be a little monotonous.
“You know, being in charge of getting yourself to the show and finding hotels, it’s been fun,” he continued. “We really have enjoyed it a lot. I couldn’t actually see myself getting into a bus right now.”
Besides being closer to band mates, touring on a smaller scale also provides more opportunities to meet and make connections with fans, he said.
“In the smaller clubs, (there’s) just an energy that you can’t quite get when you’re playing theaters,” Wargo said. “It’s all around just been great. I love it.”
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Bad boy glam-rapper Mickey Avalon is back in Bend, the Pickin’ & Paddlin’ series begins with The Pitchfork Revolution, a trio of Oregon songwriters will play The Horned Hand, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks visit Kimberly, a roundup of the opportunities to see and hear Irish/Celtic music this week, the psych-rock sounds of Rubedo, and a Last Band Standing update. Plus, a bunch of good local bands are playing the Bend Pride celebration on Saturday. All are welcome!
In case you’ve forgotten, Summer Sundays at the Schwab are awesome. You can bring your own food and beer and have a picnic and listen to free tunes by sweet bands while (hopefully) soaking up some Central Oregon sun. Your dog is even allowed to come along.
The series has been running for several years now and has become extremely popular, attracting up to a few thousand folks per show. This year’s lineup, in my opinion, is the best yet; highlights include the Mexican-American indie-folk of Y La Bamba, local hip-hopper Mosley Wotta, The Features’ exuberant pop-rock and the gauzy, beguiling folk-pop of the aforementioned Poor Moon.
I chatted with Wargo last week and will have a story on the band in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine. In the meantime, check out the first single from Poor Moon’s upcoming full-length below. It’s called “Holiday,” and you can download it in exchange for your email address. Or you can just click the Play button to stream.
Poor Moon will play Les Schwab Amphitheater (344 S.W. Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Gates open at noon, and admission is free. More info is here.