1. Larry and His Flask behind Ranch Records:
It was Record Store Day, so Ranch invited customers to join them behind the store for a show, headlined by Larry and His Flask. Here's the thing though, about 300 people showed up... and... went... completely nuts.
2. Rubblebucket at The Bite of Bend:
When an eight-piece afrobeat meets indie rock collective comes to play a free outdoor show in Bend, you think people might be confused. Well, they weren't - they rocked the F"%* out to this emerging New York band.
3. The Autonomics at Bend Roots Revival:
This youthful rock trio had just moved to Portland, but came back to Bend to play the main stage at Bend Roots, and pretty much rocked my face in. Then they sold all of their CDs in about 12 minutes. Impressive... and made me quite proud of Bend's local scene.
4. Michael Franti and Spearhead, Flobots at the Les Schwab Amphitheater:
I could tell you all about this show, but since most of you (including the people who like to say how much Franti has sold out) were probably there, that would be redundant. For those who didn't make it - it was like the county fair for the other folks in town.
5. John Mellencamp/Bob Dylan at the Les Schwab Amphitheater:
After finding a spot on the lawn where no angry/entitled Ted Danson look-a-likes told me I was blocking their view, I dug into two sets of rock and roll history. Sure, a lot of folks said Mellencamp was better, but damn, it's cool to be able to say, "I saw Bob Dylan," even if he did mumble through most of his show.
6. Empty Space Orchestra (Any Show):
In 2010, Empty Space Orchestra got louder, fiercer and somehow tighter and there's not one show that stands out more than the others, really. They slaughtered their sets at Last Band Standing, played a killer opening slot for The Helio Sequence, entertained a few thousand new fans for an LSA Summer Sunday and also wowed their most loyal followers at the late night Bend Roots show. Now, they finally have a new record coming out that captures that sound.
7. Blind Pilot, Sara-Jackson Holman at the Tower Theatre:
Perhaps the best of the PDXchange Series was this packed-house performance that began with local Sara Jackson-Holman playing cuts from her new album, When You Dream, then continued with Blind Pilot giving us two-plus hours worth of proof that folk music still matters.
8. Built to Spill at the Domino Room:
Indie rock done well is great. Indie rock done with a beautiful degree of sloppiness is even greater and that's what Boise-based Doug Martsch and company brought over for this night of guitar mastery and BTS hits.
9. Mosley Wotta's Halloween Show at McMenamins:
With help from fellow Bend MCs Cloaked Characters and Shireen Amini, Mosley Wotta and band had the costumed masses moving.
10. The Thermals at the Tower Theatre:
A mosh pit at the Tower Theatre? Yup, it happened.