What happened when I saw Basement with Turnstile, Defeater & Colleen Green at the Analog Café and Theater in Portland, OR
By Dylan Conner
We arrived at the Analog towards the beginning of Colleen Green’s set. The small, yet growing, crowd swaying to her laid back surf rock sound while she was alone onstage, guitar in hand and sunglasses on. Green provided a perfect “warm up” for the rest of the chaos to come. Melodic hardcore band Defeater, from Massachusetts, was up next and by then the crowd had shifted from small clusters to a large room of people, half of them forming a large circle pit. The band was high energy and a complete shift from the calm performance of Colleen Green to loud guitar riffs and powerhouse vocals. I actually got a chance to speak with Green after her set! “I really enjoy Portland!” she said, “…this tour has been great.”
Up next was Maryland hardcore band, Turnstile. Now this band was one I have been looking forward to seeing and they met my expectations perfectly. The crowd was in full motion and between dodging the massive circle pit and crowd-surfers, and even an elbow to the face, I was able to get close enough to see the band entirely. You could tell how passionate they were about their performance, and not only that, you could tell how much the crowd absolutely came alive during their set. Everyone in the room knew the words, one song in particular, “Drop” off their latest album “Nonstop Feeling” seemed to get the crowd going the most. If you ever get the chance and want to see an excellent band, regardless if you’re into “punk rock” or not, I would buy a ticket to see Turnstile because they fucking rule.
Basement by Harley Pethybridge
Last to perform was Basement from London. Now I may be biased due to the fact that I have been dying to see them live since they reformed their band, but this band puts on an absolutely incredible show. They opened with one of their older songs titled “Whole” off their album “colourmeinkindness” and you could see the crowd absolutely go crazy as they sang along. Basement also played a lot of songs of their latest album “Promise Everything.” I would definitely go give that a listen if you like anything that has to do with rock or grunge music.
Overall, the performances last night were incredible. It is not always common to truly enjoy all bands on that big of a tour. One fan told me that it was “her first time seeing a show like this” and that she “feels like she’s been missing out on the ‘scene.” However, on the negative end, I wish this show had been done at a better venue. For those who have not been to the Analog Café and Lounge, it is a tiny attic-like room above a bar. Now, this sounds like it would work in theory, but get a room full of sweaty dudes body slamming each other and a stage that’s only a step off the ground, you’re going to run into some minor complications. For one, the ceiling was so low that it was a legitimate hazard to the crowd-surfers and stage divers… or “step divers” as I would call them. Security had to make an announcement not to knock into the sprinkler pipes.
Now, for a less rowdy show this venue would be fine. In fact, it is fine, I saw another show there not too long ago and I was happy with the sound quality. Unfortunately that’s about it. Sound quality is definitely a majorly important factor, but the Analog didn’t seem to even have that in the bag last night. A few times during Basement’s set, the guitars cut out and made for a couple long, awkward pauses. “Honestly, despite all the technical issues, Basement made up for it by performing so well” says Oregon State student Taylor Alvarez. The band did a fantastic job improvising during those times, however you would think that by the last and most anticipated band the venue would have gotten it together by then.
That being said… The Analog is by no means is a “bad venue”, however, I think that booking agents should be saving their rowdier bands for venues that are better equipped.
Check out a newer Basement song, “Aquasun” below… and while you’re at it check out our interview with Colleen Green from a few months back.