Photo of You Blew It taken by Andrew Le
Portland got to fall in love with Free Throw, All Get Out, and You Blew It this Valentine’s Day for You Blew It’s first headliner here.
Naturally, lots of Valentine’s Day jokes were made on stage in-between songs. There were the occasional questions asked like, “Is anyone here with their Valentine?” or, “Is anyone here on a first date?” and, for me, the whole show felt like a first date because it was my first time seeing all of these bands.
A large part of the packed room knew every word to Free Throw’s set aside from the new songs that they played. Their half an hour on stage was a great way to open the show because their fans were energetic from the beginning. Free Throw’s new songs have more variation between soft and loud, both of which they excel at playing, and I’m eager to hear the whole new album which they said will be released sometime this year. I don’t come across bands with three guitarists very often, but I love how Free Throw uses each guitar to craft a sonic mood to pair with the emotions behind their lyrics. After seeing Free Throw live, their upcoming album is now one of my most anticipated records of 2017.
Photo of Free Throw taken by Andrew Le
All Get Out was the only band on the bill that I got really into before seeing live. Their recent album, Nobody Likes A Quitter, is addictive. Those songs created the perfect balance in their set alongside their older ones. All Get Out played “Room To Talk” and “Whatever” which are, lyrically, two of my favorite tracks from Nobody Likes A Quitter. One of the best moments during their set was when they played an older song almost completely through, but before finishing it, they seamlessly transitioned into “Get My Cut,” and then followed up with the last line of the previous song. It was interesting to see how the band’s energy changed depending what record they were playing from. They seemed to put extra care and attention into perfecting every part in the new songs, and they let loose and moved around more for those off of Movement and The Season. All Get Out closed with “ATX” which was more incredible live than I could’ve ever expected. The song begins softly, and witnessing the massive crescendo, and feeling the energy build, made “ATX” an extremely powerful way for All Get Out to close their set. I can only imagine how tremendous an All Get Out headliner would be, so hopefully I’ll get to witness one soon.
Photo of All Get Out taken by Andrew Le
This was You Blew It’s first headliner in Portland, and first time back in the PNW in quite awhile. It wasn’t until a week or two before the show that I got around to listening to the band’s 2016 release, Abendrot, which definitely would’ve ended up in my top 20 albums of last year had I listened to it sooner. Most of You Blew It’s set came from Abendrot which I loved because it’s such a cohesive record. Their whole set was full of energy, but there’s something incredibly soothing about the new songs. There’s never a dull moment; if the guitar parts are more mellow, then there’s something more intricate happening on the drums, but as a whole it’s more withdrawn than their previous releases. Tanner Jones’ vocals live are just as focused and spot-on as they are recorded, even when he got a bit self-conscious.
At one point in the show, Jones admitted that he messed up while playing when he saw someone leaving early, but then he told himself that he’s above that, but then messed up again. After revealing this to the crowd, he received uplifting comments from both the rest of his band, and from fans shouting reassurances at him which made the show feel that much more intimate because of the genuine relationship between the band and the crowd.
This was only the second show that I’ve attended this year due to health problems, but it didn’t surprise me to hear that You Blew It is selling a shirt on tour that is raising money for a handful of nonprofit organizations including Planned Parenthood and The Trevor Project. The music community has truly come together and bands have taken louder political stances since Donald Trump took office. I expect that we’ll be seeing a lot more of these mini-fundraisers on tours throughout the year as good people use their platform to contribute to positive change.
You Blew It finished the night off with some tracks from their 2012 release, Grow Up, Dude, which got the crowd’s energy up for the rest of the show. They said that “Terry V. Tori” was their last song, but then everyone left the stage except for vocalist/guitarist Tanner Jones. He ended the night with “The Fifties” which he said they don’t play often, so the show finished with a soft singalong. There wasn’t a chance for an encore because of the venue’s curfew, but I think “The Fifties” was the most ideal ending.
For dates and tickets for the rest of this tour go to youblewit.co!