Oh boy. It was a sweaty weekend in live music. We're talking Patrick Ewing, better-change your-shirt-at-halftime sort of sweaty. So here's what happened: hot temperatures collided with a migrating front of wildly awesome live bands, causing the music scene to collectively and shamelessly sweat for no less than three days.Sound Check perspired thoroughly this weekend, too. And you should know that when Sound Check sweats, it's not a sexy glow but rather a violent drip of toxins that falls from our brows as we bob our heads to the music. That's precisely what we were doing on Friday night at the Domino Room where Domino Room was celebrating the release of their new album, Darker the Night.
The mostly young and mostly shorts-and-T-shirt-clad audience didn't waste time getting sweaty when John Johnson and Henry Kammerer stepped onto the stage and ripped into their familiar junkyard trance blues. The place was hopping from the get go, with Kammerer standing up, rather than remaining seated, as is his wont, violently smacking about a tambourine before getting his guitar on. Their set was heavy with cuts from the new record, but did include the sort of R.L. Burnside-inspired favorites that the loyal fans have come to love.
After a hot Saturday watching sweaty cyclists downtown for the Cascade Cycling Classic, Sound Check headed down to the Les Schwab Amphitheater for the free show from Great American Taxi. Fronted by Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman, the band's jammy, rootsy vibe suited the lazy, slightly boozy atmosphere at the amphitheater. As the band played a near-perfect cover of The Band's "Twilight," storm clouds approached, making things less sweaty and more scary. Alas, it didn't really rain.
To close out the weekend, we arrived at Silver Moon Brewing and upon entering, realized, "Hey, it's not that hot in here!" We were there to see Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, the Southern California cross-genre soulful rock band, who was stopping in Bend on what they say is their last tour. That was sad, but the band's set was anything but, replete with handclaps on favorites like "All One" and full of front man Dustin Apodaca's preacher-like diatribes. Soon, it was sweaty inside the Moon, but Sound Check didn't mind, because we were rocking and sending the band off in style.
For the past three days, we've been sitting in a pool of ice (and Natural Ice) in the Source basement, watching the thunderstorms and trying not to sweat. At least not until this weekend.