Oregon, venue the Wonder
Ballroom, the hippie scene was alive and well on January 28.
evening of, oh I’ll just say it, hippie rock, here in Stumptown (no lack of
hippies here). Opening act Chamberlin apparently hail from the furthest reaches
of Vermont, out in the woods and practice in a remote log cabin (and even if
they don’t it makes a good story, right?) and their publicist assured me they
were good (I had not heard a note of their music) and they were. Seemingly
taking the same cues from The Band as Dawes does they weaved a similar rootsy
feel and played a thoroughly pleasant set. The percussionist/ keyboardist added
extra meat to the proceedings and I wish for the life of me I knew what Kinks
cover that was.
Potter and the Nocturnals hit the stage a little after their 10:15 PM starting
time and did a big build-up intro with Grace popping out dancing in his
glittery dress cut off just above the knee. The band are real pros, but Grace’s
head wagging, stage dancing and shouts of “Are you having a good time tonight, Portland?!” got old
pretty quickly. I only hung for a handful of tunes but I believe I heard “Oasis
, “Medicine” and others off her latest self-titled released and as I was
walking out the door they had just launched into the reggae-tinged “Goodbye
Kiss.” Potter’s vocal’s, while not really my thing, do have an impressive range
and her bluesy wail has inspired comparisons to both Janis Joplin and Bonnie
Raitt in countless reviews and it’s probably fair to say that I was the only
one in the sold-out club to leave early.