November 8, 2007

Voices for Silent Disasters Concert Series (various McMenamins locations)

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I am always a sucker for charity events. Especially when it's combined with something that I love, like the Portland music scene.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to go see the second concert in a series, called Voices for Silent Disasters, at the Mission Theater.

The series is a benefit for MercyCorps and the people of Uganda. Really great cause. They showed a video of Stephanie Schneiderman's trip to Uganda and even videotaped the audience doing an enthusiastic yell so they could send it to the people they met in over there. Very cool. They brought back Ugandan coffee to sell at the concerts, along with beads and other handmade items from Uganda. I like that. It makes it real and tangible. Someone in Uganda made this with their hands and now I am going to support them by buying it. Love it.

The lineup for the concert was stellar: Stephanie Schneiderman, the Joe McMurrian Quartet and Richmond Fontaine. And although Stephanie was sick, she sounded great along with the band and backup singing by Breanna Paletta from Rye Hollow. Shout out to Todd for awesome guitar moves! It was a good show. The Joe McMurrian Quartet was a blues-y band and they really kicked it (that means it was awesome). I had to leave early, so I didn't hear Richmond Fontaine, but I have no doubt they were as excellent as the others.

The Mission Theater is set up so that you feel like you are in a giant living room, listening to a band play. It's just so cozy. So it didn't feel at all unusual to me when this guy came and sat next to me and started talking a nonsensical blue streak. "Do you smoke weed?" he asked. "No, not really at all," I said. "Oh, that's why. I smoked three bowls last night and I'm still toasted. I'm feeling linguistically challenged. Are you? Linguistically challenged, I mean?" I was so comfortable, I just leaned back in my chair, "Whatever, man..." and listened to him chat away.

I really wanted to hear the Singer/Songwriter night in the series this Saturday, but am going to a friends wedding reception. So I'm going to catch the Liv Warfield/Storm Large show next Thursday, the 15th. Should be very entertaining.

This is a great cause for everyone to support. Tickets are cheap - only $12 for most shows. And it's totally worth it. Portland has some of the best musicians anywhere. And they are all volunteering their time and efforts to support MercyCorps in their endeavor. Go to a good concert. It's the least you could do.


todd said...

Hey, Lizzy!

Thanks for the shout out. :) And a shout out to YOU for being there! Sorry I didn't get a chance to come out front and say hello. Backstage was crazy.

Last night's show was really fun too. There was much less stress, more performers involved, and everybody seemed to know what to do to make the evening 'flow' really well. This time we all actually got the chance to come out front and just sit and watch a lot of the show. Really a good night.

I bet the wedding reception was fun, though!