Movements by Harper King / Sick Snaps
On March 6, Movements played their first ever Portland headliner with Can’t Swim, Gleemer, and Super Whatevr to a sold out room, upstairs at the Analog Theater.
Super Whatevr opened the night with an energetic set that I was really excited to see. Their new album, Never Nothing, has been one of my favorite 2018 albums, so far, and new songs like “Bloomfield” and “For You” were just as strong live as on record. This band has such a fresh sound, and they’re really doing their own thing compared to their peers in the scene. While Super Whatevr’s lyrics focus on mental health and the heavy topics surrounding it, their sound is bright, catchy, and got everyone grooving along and warmed up for the rest of this wildly fun show. Before “Someone Somewhere Somehow,” vocalist/guitarist Skyler McKee used his platform to say, ‘If your friends are happy, make sure that they’re really happy, and if they’re sad, make sure you’re there for them.’ This is one song that definitely does sound as heartbreaking as it is. Their whole set was full of passion, and their dedication to their music is extremely apparent. I also had the opportunity to interview Skyler before the show, so be on the lookout for a feature on Super Whatevr in the near future to get to know more about them!
Second of the night was Gleemer, the only band I hadn’t heard before this show, and they really impressed me. All I had heard from other people is that they were a lo-fi band which I guess I can understand because they do have some lo-fi influence, but somehow everyone forgot to mention how fucking great they are when explaining their sound. Gleemer’s songs are a bit slower paced, more gentle, and leave more breathing room overall, but give just enough energy to put on an engaging set. There’s a lot of fast, loud music happening in the alternative scene (naturally, of course), so I’m always beyond excited to hear what other bands can do and how they combine their influences to create a sound that is a nice balance to complement other alternative bands. Sometimes you just need a break from the expected, and Gleemer provides that. I’m excited to dive into their music, and hopefully see them again soon. They are, without a doubt, my favorite live discovery so far this year.
Can’t Swim served as direct support on this tour, and it was really awesome to see how much they’ve grown since they were last here in the fall. This was only their second time in Portland, but they’ve got so many more people singing along to all of their songs already. Can’t Swim played most, if not all, of Death Deserves a Name, as well as some fan favorites from Fail You Again such as “What’s Your Big Idea?” and “Stranger.” I love that certain parts of their songs rock a little harder live, and sometimes their vocals are more aggressive too. That definitely made fans yell along louder, and the band and crowd just kept feeding off one another’s energy throughout their set. Between songs, someone from the crowd shouted in support of their drummer, Andrea Morgan, being a woman (especially on a male dominated tour), and shouted, “Girls are awesome,” with which other fans also cheered in agreement. It was a wholesome reminder of why representation is important on stage. Can’t Swim recently released a second single, “In Between,” to go along with “God Awful,” neither of which made it onto Fail You Again, so I highly recommend checking those out if you’re just getting into the band.
On March 6, 2016, Movements opened for Real Friends’ $5 tour downstairs at the Analog, to a sold out crowd that, for the most part, had no idea who they were. Just before that tour was announced, “Protection” had appeared on my Spotify ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist, and that as well as the singles from Outgrown Things had me really excited to pick up their EP at that show, a few days prior to its official release. (I ended up forgetting to take the CD I purchased, but got it 1.5 years later. Thanks Pat). Exactly two years after that show, they played their first Portland headliner upstairs at the Analog to a sold out crowd that knew every word to every song they played. (Started from the bottom (downstairs), now they’re here (upstairs), eh?)
Right from the beginning of Movements’ set, the crowd surged ahead, and several rows of people stumbled forward with the front two rows falling onto the short stage. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that strong of an enthusiastic response from a crowd at the Analog. During the majority of Movements’ time on stage, the room was yelling along to each song so loudly that they could almost always be heard over everything.
Movements added some very pleasant simple lighting to their production. Their amps sat on soft light boxes that changed colors, and their Feel Something banner from their album artwork hung at the back of the stage, and was made out of color changing lights as well. Sometimes simple touches like that can really tie things together visually, and it definitely did in this case. The sound was also great this night which is always pretty surprising in a venue like this, but actually being able to hear things clearly was really nice.
Speaking of Feel Something, it was so fun getting to sing along to the new songs live. Movements had slowly introduced some of these songs on tour last year, but they played almost all of the album on this show which was incredibly satisfying because I heard all of my favorite songs, like “Suffer Through,” which had me finger pointing for the first time in 2018. Other obvious crowd favorites were “Daylily” and “Nineteen.” Before playing “Deadly Dull,” vocalist Pat Miranda explained the significance of the song in relation to Alzheimer’s and dementia, and why it was important to write about something that doesn’t typically get touched on lyrically, in this part of the music scene at least.
During “Losing Fight,” we got to see Pat play guitar. It was a nice breather in their set, and then as the song built up at the end, he stepped back in anticipation of the crowd surging forward again to yell the last few lines. It’s always the best to be at a show where moments like that are predictable because the band and fans are entirely on the same wavelength. Without that seamless communication and understanding, one of the highlights of the show likely wouldn’t have happened. A young boy was watching side stage near me, and between songs, Pat came over and asked him if he wanted to crowdsurf, so Pat planned it out and had the crowd lift him from the front, where he jumped up, to the back, and then return him to the stage, and it was perfectly executed. That kid’s definitely got some great memories from his first show. Movements really gave their all the entire night, and would give each other looks with huge grins on their faces throughout their set which showed just how amazing this ride has been for them.
This really is just the beginning for Movements, and I felt that the entire show. They are incredibly talented, and are such genuine human beings as well. This band is onto something special, and it could be felt in every moment of their set. The combination of the release of Feel Something and this show have made Movements one of my favorite bands. After the show when I was talking to Pat, he mentioned how they love growing and evolving their sound because it’s their job as musicians to keep getting better, and that makes me really excited for all that’s left to come.
Congrats to Movements on all of your growth over the past two years! We look forward to continuing to see you blossom from here.