Tag Archives: Portland

Kamasi Washington Oregon Zoo Saturday, August 17th 2019

Oregon Zoo Saturday, August 17th 2019

Several months ago the Oregon Zoo started announcing performances for their annual summer concert series. Eventually something I was interested was announced and I was excited. Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington would make a stop at the zoo during their 2019 tour. Kamasi I have heard before and seen recently. That performance blew me away so I was excited to see him again. And Herbie, I mean its Herbie Hancock so yeah I was excited to see him too.

One perk of the concert ticket is free admission to the zoo but unfortunately I was unable to partake in this added bonus. Getting to the zoo is still on my local tourist list. Arriving to the venue I highly recommend you take the Max. Either the red or blue west and get off at Washington Park. From there its an elevator rid up and then right for the zoo entrance. Can’t beat it considering the parking lot fills up quickly on the weekend and sold out concerts.

One of the elephants came out and joined us for part of Kamasi’s performance that night.

The stage is set all the way in the back by the elephant enclosure. The zoo has been doing this since 1979 so now they have a permanent stage and facilities which are nice. It is a smallish outdoor amphitheater which is perfectly proportioned I think. Up close they have a traditional reserved seating area. Most of the venue is grass. You are allowed to bring blankest and low chairs so of course do that. Get there as soon as the grounds open to secure a spot on the lawn. I arrived 45 minutes before the show start and it was already at capacity. Lots of food options around the venue which was encouraging to see.

Right on time Kamasi Washington and The Next Step took the stage for an hour long performance. The first time I saw Kamasi his performance blew me away. This time I would say it didn’t have as much energy as the Crystal Ballroom performance. I think it was just the intimacy of the crowd that made the Ballroom a better performance. Still a good crowd but not the same as being packed in with your fellow fan listening to Kamasi groove.

Still a very good performance by everyone. He even brought his father who played with the band all night. He hit some of the classics that have made him famous. Not so much talking this time around, more straight and to the point. I think it was a great opportunity to expose Kamasi to new fans who may not have heard him but wanted to see Herbie. Even one of the elephants managed to come out and see him play.

Next was Herbie Hancock and it was cool to see him play after hearing his music for so many years. He has a talented group of band members but none of them are originals or long standing. They were all good at what they do but if I had to rate the performance I would say average. Herbie was into the music but the other guys just seemed to be playing along for a gig. It was lacking energy. Even when they did Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island, it felt forced.

Again, it was great to see Herbie but the performance was lacking. I was here to see Kamasi to be honest and even that performance was just ok. Great venue and I look forward to coming back. I also hope to see Kamasi do another tour and hit a smaller venue in the Portland area. Let’s pack the place and have a groovy time.

Kamasi Washington
Saturday, August 17th 2019
Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR

Set starts at 7:00pm

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  7. Fists of Fury #
    Set over at 8:02pm

Note
# with Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
Saturday, August 17th 2019
Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR

Show starts at 8:31pm

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  4. Actual Proof
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  7. Watermelon Man
    Set over at 938pm

Encore starts at 9:39pm

  1. Cantaloupe Island #
    House lights at 9:50pm

Note
# with Kamasi Washington and his dad

Michael Quu Helium Comedy Club May 7th 2019

Most of our customers are MSP clients but we do a fair amount of contract project work as well. This means we get some pretty cool clients like Helium Comedy Club. As a thank you for helping them out they gave us some free tickets to see the first night of Michael Quu. It was Tuesday night of all things so I understand getting free tickets. Get as many people in the venue as you can and hope they buy drinks. Plus I’m sure its good for the talent to see a full venue when they look out into the audience.

I didn’t plan on going but never bought movie tickets liked I planned either. A colleague was going and invited me so I decided a change of plans was in order. It ended up being three of us. Our third didn’t arrive till just before show time. I arrived first and decided to see about a table but the line getting in was ridiculously long and slow. They choke point was the ticket booth. My ticket was “free” but a $6 cover was required at the door. They have a stated 2 item minimum but they didn’t appear to enforce that.

There was an opening act in addition to Michael. The opening guy was a local that moved to NYC and now does comedy full time. Not bad but he will probably never make it off the medium city/small club tour. Still funny at times and worth it. The main act Michael was also pretty funny. Longer set. I think Michael did like 45-60 or something.

Anyway a good night out to see some comedy. I can always use a good laugh and I will have to come back to the club. Hopefully they can work on the queue issue but a nice place to catch some comedy.

Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group The Jack London Revue April 4th 2019

I was talking with a colleague earlier in the week about jazz and mentioned The Jack London Revue. I love this place because this is what I imagine jazz clubs where like back in the early days of the genera. The basement of some dark, dingy, building but also very intimate. The venue has a way of sucking you in and making you a part of the performance because of how things are setup. I just love this place. On Thursday’s Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group has a weekly two set residency.

Heineken

My colleague couldn’t make the show but I had hyped myself up just thinking about it I went Thursday night for their regular gig. I just wanted to listen to some live music. Even though I only stayed for the first set it was a lot of fun. I thought it better to get home at a reasonable hour and sleep then stay out too late.

The walk to and from the venue was nice. The weather was starting to become more comfortable. It rained in both directions. Going home it was pretty heavy. I didn’t even thing to check the weather till I was already outside. It just adds to the memories of the night.

Another good performance by Mel Brown and and the gang. They had a sit-in keyboardists this time. He too played with the same person Mel did. For some reason I want to say Aretha Franklin but I could be wrong on that. Another good night of jazz with Mel Brown at the Jack London Revue.

Budos Band Roseland Theater Friday, April 19th 2019

I have heard the Budos Band on and off over a long many years. One thing I remember about them is I never see them tour. I don’t even know if I have seen them do the festival circuit even. With the recent announcement of the Soul’d Out Music Festival here in Portland I noticed the Budos Band was stopping by the Roseland Theater for a performance. Never seeing them tour before I took the opportunity to check them out.

It was the last day of the work week heading into Easter. I was excited to see the band and prepped by driving to Washington to get some supplies for the show. I wanted to be good and ready when the Budos Band took the stage. I even took a short nap before the show just to make sure I would be ready.

After a short walk to the venue I arrived at 9pm just in time to see the True Loves open. The venue is pretty huge so I just headed up stairs to secure a good view and simply relax. Yet again I was impressed with the opening act. You just never know what you will find and its often very good. They have this kinda soul/funk feel to them. They would hit the horns often which I really enjoyed too.

First time seeing the Budos and they did a really good job that night. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but it was great. I have heard the band of course for many years but nothing in depth. Its hard to describe the sound but I would recommend everyone check them out. Lots of people at the Roseland that night grooving to the music.

Budos Band played for nearly two hours which was cool. By the end of the show I was exhausted. I was physically and mentally drained. It was a nice walk getting home that night in the drizzle. I even managed to work up an appetite and ate a second dinner when I got home.

If they manage another west coast tour I will certainly check them out again and I recommend others as well. Just a cool rocking good time.

The Budos Band
Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
Friday, April 19th 2019
Part of the Soul’d Out Music Festival.
The True Loves from Seattle opened.

Show starts at 22:17
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Set over at 23:34

Encore starts at 23:41
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3.
house list at 23:58

With sing along to bring the band out for the encore. Bass amp dies during the encore break and they have to fix it.

Nite over, time to head home.

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

I forget where I heard this but I heard the Portland Art Museum has a $5 after 5pm special every Friday! Not that the regular ticket is that expensive but its a good way to get out into downtown and experience some culture on the cheap. It was Christmas too so I really wanted to get downtown among the hustle and bustle to see what was going on plus whatever was on exhibit at the museum.

They change their stuff around pretty frequently which is nice but also makes the $5 ticket price a real bargain when you consider it. It was only a few months ago that I saw the Shape of Speed exhibit here. I didn’t know what was happening when I arrived so I was pleasantly surprised when they had a special showing called Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art.

They have several different areas that highlight different types of art in Japan as it evolved over time. Its a style of art that you know it when you see it. Just like their tattoo style. What this exhibit did highlight were different areas where the art was used for different purposes. One was simply writing in large characters which is still practiced today and takes a special hand to complete. The flow with the brush is pretty cool to watch.

They had another section of landscapes. Lots of imagery and symbolic meaning with the landscapes that where chosen. Mostly in that muted and limited color palate but still no less amazing to see. Another big area was landscapes with poetry. Poetry was very big in Japanese culture back in the day. More so here then in any other culture from around the same time period that I know of. These poets would come up with some beautiful stuff so to go along with the words often it was done on a painting.

You can’t see everything in one visit but at that price, who cares. Its a reason to come back the following Friday to continue checking out what the museum has to offer. That Friday I saw all the special exhibit with time to spare so I headed upstairs to the second level. Here I finished out the left section of the museum but still haven’t made it over to the modern art building. One day….

A giant orchid outside the museum.

On my way out I saw a posted notice that the museum is seeking approval to expand the museum. It’s great to see the Portland Art Museum isn’t suffering from a lack of funding. I think only good can come from having and appreciating more art. Whatever form that takes the world can use more of it.

Knowing that there are cheap tickets every Friday I am going to have to make this a regular stop for myself. I figure at least once a quarter would be worth it. Checkout what’s on special and get downtown for an evening out. Thinks are a little busy right now but maybe come February I can get back for another quick visit on a Friday afternoon.