This show could not have happened at a more crucial time. Celebrating our diversities and coming together to empower one another is important in this day, age, and unstable political structure. From an outsider’s view, Portland may seem like a very gentrified city. Although Portland is going through a major transition, one only needs to look at the subcultures in the city to see that Portland is diverse.
The purpose of this show was to celebrate the release of New Move‘s album “New Move II: Back in the Habit“, and what better local venue than Mississippi Studios could there be to host this event. This album is wonderful in that it is a musical collaboration of New Move and various Portland artists. Every song is different and expresses the diversity of musical influences and genres that are present in the Portland music scene.
To get the party started- in a very literal sense- Hustle and Drone began the set with a heavy dose of electronic bass and a light show that had me seeing stars for the rest of the night. Almost immediately, the floor of the venue became packed and couples took advantage of the sexy bass lines to get comfortable with one another. The energy of Hustle and Drone‘s performance was not that of a typical opener. Although they may have played first, their set felt like a mini festival.
Following Hustle and Drone, Y La Bamba took the stage, beginning with a debut of the music video for the song “Ojos Del Sol“. Although Y La Bamba falls into its own genre and one entirely different from Hustle and Drone, the energy amongst the audience and performers only escalated. Luz Elena Mendoza, the powerful front woman, did not hold anything back during this set. A Latina woman living during the frightening reality of border control, Luz had some empowering and heart stopping words to say. She encouraged everyone not to silence their voices and rise up together in a way that supports cultural, racial, and gender diversity. Providing offerings through her music, she played a number of songs she had written in the past couple weeks influenced by the recent political shift.
To end the night, New Move’s set concluded with a bang! They succeeded in their musical experiment of performing almost all the songs on their new album with the respective musical guests. Portland may be most well known for its folk-rock roots. While this genre did make an appearance that evening, so did a bit of R&B, pop, funk, psychedelic rock, hip hop, and jazz. The collaborative and supportive energy of the artists’ performances was enough to make anyone’s heart melt and feel like apart of a family. This show taught the audience no matter how diverse, everyone can come together to celebrate music in all forms.