This is what it looked like when I first got there.
Seriously. Kind of looks familiar. Y La Bamba had just finished their soundcheck and I believe the drummer had to re-park his vehicle prior to the full set starting, so I decided to roll down the block for a quick beer and some air-conditioning as a brief respite from the heat.
*drinks ipa faster than normally would so as not to miss Y La Bamba*
By the time I rushed back to City Hall Y La Bamba was already playing, but according to a friend I ran into it was only the beginning of their 2nd song of the set. I perched upon the stone railing. That is - stood up on the thing you see both in the first picture of this post as well as the first picture in Goldie's previous post, to get a higher vantage shot of the crowd and possibly a good way to catch the entire stage on video.
Wackenhut wasn't having it.
Seriously, I did not make this up! Q: Where do you work? A: Wackenhut!
This lady in particular Was. Not. Feeling. Me. The feeling was mutual. In retrospect I place some blame on myself. These security people were just trying to do their job and get through a day of work without any hassles like everybody else. I am usually a very peaceful and understanding person although I sometimes have beef with authority figures that use their position of power to enforce, in my humble opinion, meaningless rules. That kind of sounds like a weird Facebook quiz result, "You are usually a peaceful and understanding person, although you sometimes have beef with authority figures that use their position of power to enforce, in your humble opinion, meaningless rules." Whatever though, I've since learned from my younger days that the judicial branch of government doesn't quite see eye to eye with me on that. So my older wiser self said, you got to get. That. Dirt off your shoulder. Take a walk around the block, cool off, and make sure you don't miss getting some Y La Bamba video footage. And luckily I didn't.
Kinda bummed I missed more of the set than I wanted to, and wasn't able to get the full band on video. But also glad to get up even closer than I would've otherwise and get what I got. Also for the rest of the night I wasn't as uptight about capturing as much as possible like I usually do. Briefly had a conversation with my boy Michael Mannheimer upon leaving about this. It was too nice of a day and a vibe to stress getting footage at the expense of having a good time. So instead I hung with some homies I hadn't seen in awhile and still managed to get some decent video. Here's a little PJ, WA....
Good friends, or at least good acquaintances with this whole crew from way back. Helped them put out their first EP back in the day and my boy Skyler Norwood is, even though someone I don't see very often these days, a dear dear friend from way back who has helped me and Lucky Madison out in innumerable ways. So, good to catch their set and they seemed pretty tight and a little more "rock" than I'd seen them in the past after recently coming off the tour with the Thermals.
Lastly was YACHT who I was psyched to see, and I think most people there were too. As evidenced by the masses swarming the stage as soon as they appeared. Although, I'm not gonna lie, there was definitely a small but strong contingent of people I talked to who were passive-aggressively dismissing them because of their live set-up including new technology rather than just old school instruments.
To which I officially call bullshit on right here and now. "That's not REAL music". Give me a break. That's what the Sinatra lovers said about Elvis/Beatles. That's what the Baby-Boomers said about Hip-Hop. That's what 80's Satriani-worshipping guitar shop assholes said about The Ramones. That's what the Washington Post says about non-classical music virtuosos. I know from experience that running DI's and dealing with backing tracks live is twice as hard as plugging into amps and just rocking out. But I'll save that diatribe for another time. Particularly since some of the lyrics of this YACHT song I caught on video is as succinct response to the naysayers as any I could have come up with on my own....
"No I won't be your slave. No matter how much I'm paid. Your darkness will catch up with you and you will not escape. No I don't want to fight [wackenhut]. 'Cause you're not worth my time. And you can only put up with so much [stuff] in this life."
Looking forward to the PDX-POP Now Fest next weekend. Holla back surgery.