Posts Tagged ‘Sugarland’

The 10 best concerts of the year in Central Oregon

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’ve gone on and on about my favorite recordings of 2009 here and here, but live music is the backbone of any good scene. Here is a look back my 10 favorite shows of the past 12 months in chronological order, with excerpts from reviews already published in The Bulletin or on Frequency.

Moon Mountain Ramblers, Jan. 24, Tower Theatre

MMR

(The Ramblers) were terrific. Their arsenal of stringed instruments rang out crisp and clean. The mix was perfect, with percussionist Dale Largent complementing the pickers nicely. Vocally, the harmonies were shipshape, and I was surprised by guitarist Matthew Hyman’s strong voice. I didn’t realize he’s that good of a singer.

As for the set list, the band flitted back and forth between its favorite styles, from Hyman’s twangy ballads to bassist Dan McClung’s jazzgrass instrumentals to mandolinist Joe Schulte’s more rock-influenced numbers.

One highlight was my co-worker Jenny Harada’s song for her brother, Jason, who died last summer, called “Chasing The Sun.” I’m sure there were dry eyes in the house, but they weren’t mine. Another highlight was a new Schulte song built on a weird, ominous groove and featuring a wicked Largent drum solo, like old-time music meets heavy metal. A genre was born just then, I think: doomgrass.

We also got a raucous cover of the old Stealers Wheel hit “Stuck In The Middle,” a perfectly plaintive version of “Restless,” and what may be the Ramblers’ new signature tune, “Let It All Be Good.” In the latter, when Schulte sang “You’re dancing to our music till your toes start to bleed,” I scanned the wiggly bunch up front to get a glimpse of life imitating art.

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August 7 in GO! Magazine

Friday, August 7th, 2009

This week’s GO! Magazine features quite the array of musical acts. You can’t say local music fans don’t have a variety of choices! We’ve got an alt-rock band of local teenagers, one of the biggest country acts in the world, an up-and-coming hip-hop crew that got its start in Bend, a former “American Idol” contestant playing in Warm Springs (!), crusty ol’ punks from Portland, and more, more, more! Check it:

-The five local guys in The Snag aren’t old enough to drink. Heck, they’re barely old enough to drive. But they have a new CD ready for the world, and they’ll celebrate it with a show tonight. Here’s a track from that CD, lovingly provided by the band:

Download The Snag, “Omne Vivum”

-I went and saw Sugarland at Les Schwab Amphitheater on July 30 and came back with some new thoughts on Central Oregon’s music fans. Read them here.

-Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom is hosting a hip-hop benefit, a Bay Area Afro-beat band and a reggae show next week. Very nice, Moon. Very nice. If you want to familiarize yourself with the Afro-beat band, Aphrodesia, here’s a way to do just that:

Download Aphrodesia, “Special Girl”

-Portland punk-rock group 800 Octane has played 22 shows in Bend over the past 12 years. Tonight, they’ll play for the 23rd and 24th time.

-Former “American Idol” rocker gal Amanda Overmyer is performing on Sunday at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort near Warm Springs. Which just makes sense, if you think about it.

-Elsewhere in town this weekend: A big B.I.G.S. party at the old Rising Star building, a farewell performance by soon-to-be-Californian David Bowers, and three native Texans (now Central Oregonians) at The Studio.

If you’re subscribed to The Bulletin’s Web site, you’ll be able to see all those links. If you’re not, you’ll need to subscribe or pick up a paper. Either way, you can download the MP3s. They’re available to anyone.

Photos: Sugarland at Les Schwab Amphitheater (and a quick update on Jennifer Nettles’ voice)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Atlanta-based country stars Sugarland kicked off the 2009 Bend Summer Concerts series at Les Schwab Amphitheater, and my full review will run in next week’s GO! Magazine. (Spoiler alert: I had fun.)

But let’s clear one thing up right now: Jennifer Nettles’ voice sounded terrific. The band canceled five dates immediately preceding last night’s show so Nettles could get some doctor-ordered vocal rest, and I’d guess that Sugarland fans across the country are curious about the Bend gig and wondering if she showed any ill effects. To those fans: You can relax, at least for the short term. Nettles didn’t appear to hold back. She hit every note. And she was a consummate entertainer. Her singing and her showmanship were the highlights of the night. For now, at least, Sugarland is back.

With that out of the way, let’s see what the show looked like. Bulletin photographer Rob Kerr was at the Schwab last night snapping photos, and he got some great ones, so be sure to click through to see more after the jump.

Sugarland 7

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July 24 in GO! Magazine

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Whew! It was kind of a hectic week around GO! Magazine headquarters, what with the uncertainty of Sugarland’s tour plans as we near their concert in Bend next week. But as of now, the show is on, and another GO! is out in the world. Here’s a look at the music stories it contains.

-The 2009 Bend Summer Concerts series at Les Schwab Amphitheater kicks off Thursday with an appearance by Atlanta-based country duo Sugarland. I didn’t get a chance to chat with them, so instead I wrote all about their Grammy-winning song “Stay.” If you’d like to hear it, go here.

-Most weeks, I get to write a concert review in a column we call Feedback. This week, I sing the praises of Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure, who put on a killer set at Munch & Music on July 16.

-The Deschutes County Fair kicks off on Wednesday, and it will host concerts by country singer Jake Owen on Wednesday and classic rocker Peter Frampton on Thursday.

-You’ve probably noticed, but the nightly offerings of Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom just keep getting stronger and stronger. This week, they have a slew of very different musicians in to perform everything from soulful pop to traditional bluegrass. (Silver Moon’s MySpace is here, if you’re interested.)

-It’s a big week at Bendistillery Martini Bar, too, with underground rappers Josh Martinez and Kosha Dillz doing shows on different nights, plus a mini-festival in Riverfront Plaza on Saturday and some other stuff, too. (Oh, what the heck, here’s the martini bar’s MySpace, too.)

-The Breedlove Guitar Co. is throwing a music festival, and although it technically begins on Thursday, the music doesn’t really start until Friday, July 31. Read about it here.

-This week’s local roundup features three gigs in unique places: The Sweet Harlots by the Deschutes River, Canaan Canaan at Dan Chavers’ performance studio, and Sagebrush Rock in the parking lot of Country Catering.

And hey, pick up the print version of GO! to check out the Area 97 Clubs page. There’s tons of other stuff going on!

Sugarland update

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

About an hour ago, Sugarland announced that it’s canceling its next three shows (in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Phoenix), but that the tour will resume July 30 at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend.

Both the Portland-based promoter of the show and the venue are telling me that the band will perform here a week from tonight.

Personally, I’ve shifted from thinking this concert will not happen to thinking that it will, primarily because I think all involved — band, promoter, venue — are going to do everything they can to keep from canceling on Bend for the second time in two years. Sugarland surely doesn’t want to alienate its fans in Oregon, and you can bet that, given the Schwab’s limited 2009 lineup, the folks responsible for bringing Sugarland here need one of their biggest names of the summer to show up.

Uh oh …

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The country band Sugarland, which is scheduled to kick off Les Schwab Amphitheater’s 2009 Bend Summer Concerts series on July 30, canceled two shows in California over the weekend so that lead singer Jennifer Nettles could rest her voice. Here’s Nettles explaining the whole thing:

That announcement might strike fear in the hearts of Central Oregon’s Sugarland fans who remember that the band was supposed to play the Schwab two years ago, but canceled at the last minute because Nettles was sick.

I e-mailed Monqui Presents — the company that books the amphitheater shows — to find out if they’re concerned about the Bend date. As far as they know, it’s still happening, according to a spokesman.

But this seems to be a recurring thing with Sugarland, so I think this is worth watching, and I’ll be doing just that. Stay tuned.