July 22 at the Mississippi Studios, the
indie poster charmed a small but appreciative crowd.
By Tim Hinely
I was bummed
that I had missed Messersmith last year so I wanted to make sure I caught him
this time. The crowd was a bit sparse (but appreciative) probably due to the
PDX Pop Now! Festival going on on the other side of town. Messersmith didn’t seem to mind, he seems to
be happy-go-lucky and is a well-dressed guy and has a bit of an Elvis Costello
look about him (ok, so it’s the glasses). He is supremely talented individual
and his backing back, comprised of a lead guitarist, drummer and a gent who
played some bass as well as bit of cello were all ace players as well. They
played a good chunk of material off his latest (3rd) record , the
terrific The Reluctant Graveyard, as well as some earlier stuff.
Not one to miss
a joke either, Messersmith joked that “I’ve only been in Portland for a few hours
but am impressed by both the quality and the quantity of the beards here”; and,
at the end of the set, “OK, this is usually the part when I walk off stage and
you guys cheer wildly then I come back out and play a few more songs, but let’s
just act like I left the stage but I will stay here….cool?” The guy has the talent and deserves a bigger
audience so we will see if he will go the way of Matthew Sweet (who he reminds
me of a bit) and stay a cult favorite or break out. Stay tuned.