Festival Review: MusicfestNW Project Pabst

Festival Review: MusicfestNW Project Pabst

I bought my ticket for the Project Pabst Sunday show the day they went on sale. Two names stuck out to me on the lineup, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala. I had just seen Unknown at Sasquatch and their lively performance was burnt into my brain. And well, I had been obsessed with Tame Impala since the end of 2015 (I know I was late to the party - sue me). I wasn’t going to miss seeing Unknown Mortal Orchestra again and perhaps the once in lifetime opportunity to see Tame Impala. That is until the Bumbershoot lineup was released… so maybe it’ll be twice in a lifetime.

After what seemed like forever, the weekend of Project Pabst had finally arrived. I made the trip down with one of my best friends, Dylan. There was nothing but Tame Impala playing for the entirety of the journey. Did I mention I was a tad obsessed? We spent Saturday with my brother then cruised the streets of Portland with some local friends until it was time to rest up for Sunday.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
It was a perfect sunny day in Portland as we entered the slightly dusty Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We were swimming through a sea of classic festival goers, everybody was getting theirs out here. Unknown Mortal Orchestra was magical. All members of this group are masters of their instrument and humbly displayed their skill for us. The singer/guitarist’s unique finger picking, the bassist’s complex basslines, the keyboardist’s pounding melodies and the drummer’s fierce rhythm were all important pieces of every song. The electric crowd showered Unknown Mortal Orchestra with love and it was clear they felt a strong connection to this local group.

Tame Impala
To truly understand Tame Impala, we must understand Kevin Parker. Kevin writes the lyrics and plays every instrument on Tame Impala’s studio albums. One man. One man thinks up each part and brings every instrument to life in the studio. But, when Tame Impala plays live, Kevin is joined by Dominic Simper, Jay Watson, Cam Avery and Julien Barbagallo. These five men on stage catapult Tame Impala’s studio tracks into a new dimension and each member of the live group shined so bright during Sunday’s performance.

The 20 minutes Dylan and I spent in the crowd waiting for Tame Impala to step out might be the longest 20 minutes I have ever endured. And the 90 minutes spent watching them perform might be one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed. No YouTube video will ever be able to capture the genius musical and visual talent of this band and I am still struggling to sum it up perfectly. Their sounds were complex, constantly overlapping and pushing further and farther; while the insane visuals dragged you down the psychedelic rabbit hole. The lyrics spoke to anybody who has ever felt like a recluse or who just can’t fit in, like a circle being smashed into a square frame. Tame Impala was like a musical massage, releasing pressure and tension from my body and mind I didn’t know existed. It was a celebration of the highs, the lows and all the bizarre times in between. I’ve never known such satisfaction like I did leaving Project Pabst that night. I would like to thank the lovely city of Portland, MusicfestNW and Project Pabst for making this night possible and I beg of you, if you ever have the chance to see Tame Impala live, do it.

Check out the galleries from the two-day festival here: 



Fall In Love With Your New Winter Look
Seaside at Anacortes, Washington

Related Posts