A couple of bands from Arizona and another from Oregon played a spectacularly enjoyable show this past Tuesday at the Hawthorne Theatre Lounge in Portland, OR. Anarbor and Sundressed, on tour together from the aforementioned state of Arizona, brought their sunny energy to town along with Portland locals and Sick Snaps favorite, Glacier Veins.
The show kicked off with Glacier Veins, who have recently become a three piece. Vocalist Malia Endres announced that the band have been recording their new EP, and so their set consisted of an even split of songs from that upcoming release and their past EP, Clear Your Head. Glacier Veins have become a staple of the Portland DIY scene over the last couple years, and for good reason–they are incredibly talented, genuine, and passionate; watching them perform immediately puts a smile on your face. The stage at the Hawthorne Lounge is tucked into a corner surrounded by windows, and as Glacier Veins played their set the sun was streaming through those windows, literally washing the band in a warm glow that fit the vibe and sound of GV perfectly. Of the new songs they played, one called “Dreamscape” particularly grabbed my ear. Endres’ vocals sounded especially amazing on the emotional track, and I was left feeling awed and thankful for Glacier Veins’ existence.
Sundressed was the next to the stage after Glacier Veins wrapped up their gorgeous set. As a band that usually plays ‘The Analog or people’s basements’ when they come to Portland, this was a new environment for Sundressed. Although they do frequent our area, this was my first time getting to see them, and I was very impressed. Being direct support on this tour meant they got to play a pretty long set that included a good mix of fan favorites and deep cuts. Some of my personal favorite songs made it into the set, including “Autopilot” and “Of Course.” The band also played a brand new song, which surprised me considering they just released their debut LP A Little Less Put Together in March, but that shows how prolific they are. At no point did the band fail to sound great, and they kept up their energy consistently. Vocalist Trevor Hedges made use of the space in front of the stage, getting up close and personal with the crowd on our level as he sang and bounced around. From start to finish their set was a delight to behold, and as the last chorus of set closer “Beck and Call” finished I thought about how glad I am that Sundressed keeps coming back to the Pacific Northwest to share their art.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the night’s headliner, Anarbor, as I hadn’t seen them play a show in over four years, but it became clear to me that the band have done nothing but improve in that time. They opened their set with two classic fan favorites: “Let The Games Begin” and “Every High Has A Comedown,” and I was immediately blown away by how tight, crisp, and in-sync the band sounded, not to mention their ridiculously high level of energy and passion. The small stage of the Hawthorne Lounge could barely contain the band as they danced and jumped around, playing their instruments with such remarkable skill and joy. After playing a bunch of songs that spanned the band’s decade-long catalog of music to a very happy and energetic crowd, they played their song “18” (a favorite of mine) for the first time ever. The entire set felt special, like the attendees of the show were getting to see something rare and fascinating, and the intimacy of the venue only amplified this feeling.
In addition to how fantastic Anarbor sounded and the mind blowing talent and energy they played with, I was also struck by how genuine and grateful the band seemed. They’ve been in a touring band for ten plus years, combined with the fact that they are associated with the bygone era of Myspace-pop-rock and have experienced firsthand the ups and down of music and popularity, so you could understand if they were jaded or burnt out, but they seemed happier than I’ve ever seen anyone. Each band member had a smile plastered on their face during their entire set. At one point, vocalist/bassist Slade Echeverria gave a shout out to Glacier Veins and talked about how much he enjoyed them and the scene we have here in Portland. That proved to me that Anarbor don’t take themselves too seriously, and they’re happy and thankful to be still be playing music all these years later. Being DIY has only made Anarbor better.
The night had to end at some point, and so Anarbor announced their final song and started to play “Always Dirty Never Clean.” The crowd and the band alike roared to life, bringing the exhilarating, passionate, transformative night to a sing-a-long filled close.
If you’ve ever been a fan of Anarbor or Sundressed, or if you’re just a fan of awesomely talented bands, you’re not going to want to miss this tour. Check out the remaining dates at anarborofficial.com!