Photo of Glacier Veins by Andrew Le / Sick Snaps
The Analog hosted the homecoming show for dream-punk superstars Glacier Veins, who spent the better part of the month on tour, on March 30 in Portland. Joined by tour-mate Bogues, California natives Crooked Teeth, and local friends Dreadlight and Waterfronts, the evening was an exciting showcase of up-and-coming talent.
The first band to play, Dreadlight, was a great introduction to the bill. Their hard-rock meets pop-punk sort of sound made them a perfect fit for this lineup. The band consisted of only two people, the guitarist and the bassist, who share vocal duties. Seeing a band without a drummer is a rare occasion, but the way they utilized a drum track and put so much energy and emotion into their performance and their vocals made them so much fun to watch. The two had some beautiful harmonies, especially on the song “Grenadine.” They played mostly new songs from an upcoming record, so be on the lookout for that release!
Next up was Bogues, a singer-songwriter from Nashville who had been on tour with the night’s headliner Glacier Veins for a few weeks. I’ve been a fan of Bogues’ introspective, emotional style since he released his first EP Mulligan in 2016, so finally getting to see him live was really exciting. He played a quick set that leaned heavily on songs from his recently released EP Life, Slowly. The new songs sound fantastic live—Bogues is so good at putting so much heart into his vocal delivery, making each note feel personal and heartbreaking. This was his last night on tour with GV and his genuine gratefulness for the experience came across in both his tunes and the way he talked about the tour. It’s always nice to see artists bonding and becoming family over the course of a tour. Bogues played his final song, “Sometimes,” before leaving the stage to enjoy the rest of the show with everyone else.
Portland locals Waterfronts were up next. This was my first time seeing them play a show and I was thoroughly blown away. The band recently released a new song “Headaches” that I’ve been in love with, but seeing the song come to life in a live setting took it to a whole new level. Waterfronts play with such a frenetic, contagious energy. I couldn’t keep myself from smiling while watching them command the stage. Vocalist (and Sick Snaps contributor) Madeline Matthews has such a fantastic, unique voice that brings their pop-punk sound to life, and she is incredibly emotive on stage, using her hands and her body to punctuate the music. It’s a quality that reminds me of lead singers like Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, and it’s so much fun to watch. The band ended up with more time than they thought they had, so they decided to play “Anchor Anchor” before ending their upbeat set with Matthews’ favorite song to play live, “Agoraphobia.”
It was time for the final support band of the evening, Crooked Teeth. The band had been in Portland recording their upcoming record, and took some time off from the studio to play this show. The three-piece play a California soaked pop-punk style that reminded me of the early days of the genre. Their set was very cohesive and you could tell the band was excited to be playing for us. The band moved quickly through their songs and ended with the song “Crawl,” the first single out now from a re-released edition of their EP Pastel which is out May 11, and had Malia from Glacier Veins join them for some guest vocals. Their fun set got everyone in the room good and ready for GV.
Glacier Veins shows are always an incredibly fun and positive experience but this one was particularly special. The band, riding high on the fact that they were home from tour and seeing friends and family again, put every ounce of energy they had into their set. Vocalist/guitarist Malia Endres had a smile plastered on her face the whole night, obviously loving how it feels to play a GV show at home. The crowd was equally excited, singing along with every song and finger pointing at all the right times. GV played what has become their standard setlist, but each track felt more lived in, more raucous and fun, especially the songs that require the most crowd participation like “Different Faces” and “Not Gonna Stay.” It never gets old hearing Endres’ inspiring lyrics (“I don’t pray to the same God anymore / I’m starting to believe in myself more”) and watching the band rock the heck out on stage. Seeing Glacier Veins grow and change and adapt over the years has been such a pleasure, and to see them headline at home to a room full of people singing and dancing along with them is a feeling unlike any other. It feels like Glacier Veins have graduated from being “just a local band” to being a serious force of nature that has formed a dedicated and loving community of like-minded artists and fans. If you ever have the opportunity to see Glacier Veins live, do not miss it, they are one of the most genuine and exciting bands to come out of the last decade, and they put on one hell of a show.
Despite none of these bands really sounding alike, they all share an emotional energy and an obvious passion for music and art that made the bill make perfect sense. Leave it to Glacier Veins to put together such a positive, inclusive and fun night to remember!