Musicfest NW has emerged over the last decade as a showcase for Portland, Oregon's music community and more broadly, the city itself. The festival's curatorial strategy emphasizes local and regional acts, but is carefully leavened with a modest number of higher profile buzz bands that lend the event a broader cultural mandate. Featuring more than 160 bands clustered around 19 venues and scheduled over 5 full days and nights (September 5-9), the 2012 edition did not suffer for a lack of highlights. Below, we run through 7 of our favorite moments.
1. The Mean Jeans
Blending an uptempo guitar blitz, a crude sense of humor (equal parts Bill & Ted's and Beavis & Butthead), and a Ramones-like approach to branding, Portland's very own The Mean Jeans machine-gunned their way through a 35 minute set that drew heavily on the trio's most excellent 2012 release, On Mars. Pausing oh so quickly to catch his breath between tracks, the band's guitarist and vocalist Billy Jeans (writer's note: stage name) wryly petitioned the audience for relief: "you gotta give me a moment to transition from sadness to Keanu Reeves."