Photo of The Dangerous Summer by Harper King / Sick Snaps
In early May, The Dangerous Summer played in Portland for the first time since returning from hiatus, and All Get Out, A Will Away, and Waterfronts rounded out a solid lineup.
Waterfronts kicked the night off with their passionate and energetic set that the Portland local scene has come to anticipate. They played all of the songs from their new EP, In the Event of a Crash, as well as “Anchor Anchor” and “Headaches.” Vocalist Madeline Matthews’ stage presence is always so strong and lively—something I don’t normally see at a lot of shows, and especially not from local bands, so it always makes seeing Waterfronts live feel like a special treat. They closed their set with “Honesty” which is one of their best songs, and one of my personal favorites of the year.
For those who don’t know me, A Will Away is my favorite band, so naturally I was very hyped to see them. Their time here always passes so quickly, but they do a great job of packing a bunch of songs into their set. This performance was particularly exciting because it was their first time playing “Something Special” live here and full band (it’s acoustic on Here Again), and they even played a new song, too. Having more tracks than many rock records nowadays, Here Again has yet to grow tired for me, even after upwards of 100 listens. That being said, the future of A Will Away is something to be excited about. The band recently released an EP of five songs from their ‘Hear Again’ sessions which is a prime example of how much love they put into the art they’re creating.
In the days leading up to this show, the venue was switched. All Get Out pointed this out during their set. Originally, it was to be held at a venue that at the time was called the Analog, but the owner was accused by several people of acts of sexual harassment and violence, so this show was promptly and fortunately moved to Lola’s Room instead. The band lightly alluded to the situation, saying that they were glad to be at Lola’s Room, and everyone mumbled and nodded in agreement. All Get Out truly rocks live. Their sound is always so crisp, and their guitars always pack an extra punch. They played a handful of songs from Nobody Likes A Quitter, a couple from The Season, their new single, “However Long,” and some unreleased new material. All Get Out’s set was so fire that the PA started smoking by the end of their performance, so they finished by saying, ‘This song is called ‘Melting Plastic.’” Despite the horrendous smell, everything turned out alright.
I was not familiar with The Dangerous Summer prior to their return from hiatus, but I could tell that them coming back held huge significance to a lot of people, and after hearing their new self-titled record, I began to understand why—their music is absolutely breathtaking. The first time I heard “Color” my jaw dropped as AJ Perdomo’s vocals came in, and the band continued to amaze me throughout the following nine songs on the album.
The turnout for this show wasn’t massive, but there were about 20 people upfront giving their all during every song that The Dangerous Summer played, from beginning to end, both new and old songs. This group of people made it all the more memorable and tight-knit feeling. It’s rare to see someone smile as much as drummer Ben Cato did for the band’s entire set, even when he seemed worn out, he kept a smile plastered to his face, and that energy was infectious throughout the night.
TDS made the most of this headlining tour and played 17 songs for us. My favorite parts of their set came towards the end of it with the stories that Perdomo shared about some of their new songs. Before “This Is Life” he talked about the importance of creating art, and the good feelings the band has attached to putting together their self-titled release. Then, before “Infinite” he talked about magical late nights and memories with friends that you just wish to be endless. It added a lot of meaning to the song. He asked everyone to hold up their phone lights, and he went into the middle of the floor and sang the song with everyone. The room filled with that infinite feeling that the song illustrates, and remained in the air as they closed with some old fan favorites.