On Saturday night in the newly refurbished Old Stone Church, some of the most honestly awesome rock music I've heard in Bend in quite some time was being played. Sure, this was the Portland Indie Invasion, which our paper sponsored, but that's not weighing into my opinion.
I rolled in just in time to see Norman take the stage. And while the quintet might prove awkward at times when it comes to stage banter, they speak clearly with their rocking abilities. This folk-influenced but precisely poppy band was perfectly at home with its softer tunes, but when they went into power pop mode, they really impressed the pants off of me. And after spinning the band's new CD, Hay, Hay Make a Wish and Turn Away for the past 36 hours, I'm a fan.
The Dimes came onstage soon after as the PBR continued to flow and played a somewhat subdued but solid show. While their records -- which dive into historically-based storytelling -- are well done, the band's live show seemed about twice as engaging.
THere's some video from the show.