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Musicfest NW 2012: John Maus Reinterprets Halle Berry’s Acceptance Speech

Posted by October 4th, 2012 No Comments »

Musicfest NW
September 5-9
Portland, Oregon
Day 2 Recap
By Dan Lurie 

We kicked off day 2 at Roseland Theater where Those Darlins impressed with a no-nonsense brand of southern garage pop. Their set was laced with distorted guitar licks, snarky girl-on-girl harmonies and plenty of upbeat energy to keep the large room entertained.

Our next stop was Star Theater, a relatively new venue downtown. The place is impressive on first glance. For one thing they have a gentlemanly greeter with a sharp handlebar moustache. Then there’s the sweet patio with fire pit, outdoor bar and snack shack.

After tipping back a couple drinks fireside we headed indoors to check out The People’s Temple, a spirited group of sloppy rockers hailing from Michigan. These guys put on a fun show full of wacky stage banter and unhinged punk-blues shredding. The lead guitarist even pulled the classic practice space move of playing the intros to random covers between songs while the rest of the band patiently waited for him to regain focus.

Having had our fill of the downtown scene, we decided to scoot back across the river. We made it to Doug Fir just in time to catch the final few songs from Onuinu. The fast-rising Portland act was solid as always, dishing out pure electropop perfection with disco-infused backbeats that had the giddy crowd poppin’ and lockin’.

From there things got a little nutty when some character named John Maus took the stage for 30 minutes of crippling performance art. Armed with nothing but prerecorded tracks, a mic and a gigantic amp (not sure what was playing through it) he pranced around singing, crying, pumping his fists to the sky and feigning gratitude to the oddly enraptured audience. Basically he looked like he was re-enacting Halle Barry’s Oscar acceptance speech. We didn’t stick around for the encore.


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