Tag Archives: Star Theater

Mogo Music Festival – Relive the moment!


Okay, so not everyone will be able to remember where they were on November 20 and 21, 2015…but I know I remember! Portland’s first mogo Music Festival was taking over Dante’s Portland and the Star Theater. I was on stage introducing some fantastic new local artists and some well-loved veterans. It was a weekend to remember, and hopefully to be repeated!

mogo-festival-2016-02Jason Fellman, of J-Fell presents, is well-known for his unparalleled influence on the Northwest cover and tribute band scenes. But Jason is a true fan of original music as well, being a songwriter himself. He was able to easily put together two nights of local original artists at two venues, creating a nice flow between acts, and keeping the weekend affordable. The idea was to introduce Portland audiences to 20 original local bands across a variety of musical genres, drawing listeners together, opening minds, and building bonds of friendship and musicianship that would help to propel these bands and fans throughout the following years.

mogo-festival-2016-03The promotion of this new event was novel – 10 weeks of radio promotion with in-depth band interviews, learning the influences of the music, and playing brand new music on Portland Radio Project’s Rock Block Show. Kelly Jones, Luke Neill, Teri Briggs, and Paul Lankow interviewed, photographed, and wrote articles for the bands – discovering new favorites along the journey, and finding out that mogo meant more than just a chance to play for large audiences – mogo was the embodiment of community among Portland musicians.

mogo-festival-2016-01Join us on Portland’s Playlist on Portland Radio Project this week, as we explore the successes and opportunities presented by this new local music festival. We will recap the adventure, and hear some of the exciting music that was premiered. Gene Rowan, from Acorn Sound Production House, also joins the discussion to talk about his favorite mogo moments. Show airs live Wednesday night, 7-9 PM 3/9/16 on www.prp.fm.

Tyler Stenson; A special tribute to the Counting Crows


Star Theater was the place to be Saturday night because Tyler Stenson drew a packed house for his tribute show in homage to the band he gives credit to for his music styling. A listening party at a friend’s 14 years ago forever changed his songwriting approach. He counts himself as the love child of Josh Ritter and the Counting Crows, but Adam Duritz and Counting Crows came first. Without them, he might have ended up a country musician but instead he has forged his path along what he calls, “Elegant Folk.”

Tyler-Stenson's-Counting-Crows-Tribute-on-01-30-16-18Not only is Tyler a talented musician with a gift for vivid storytelling, he is also a savvy engineer of social media and through this has developed a massive group of devoted fans, often tagged, #TeamTyler. He is always looking for new and creative ways to reach an audience so in an effort to start off the New Year with something different, he decided to put his own music aside for one night in order to play the music of his all-time biggest influence. Thus, the Counting Crows Tribute Concert featuring Tyler and the Black-Winged Birds was conceived. The Black-Winged Birds, was comprised of members from his former Wyoming band, Lander, as well as other local musicians he has shared a stage with at times; Corey Kintzi, Matt Putnam, Ken Hess, Arcellus Sykes, Erin Adkisson, Jean-Pierre Garau, Peter Rodocker, and Ravi Gadad.

Tyler-Stenson's-Counting-Crows-Tribute-on-01-30-16-14His set list covered CC’s Greatest Hits from “August and Everything After,” “Recovering the Satellites,” “This Desert Life,” and “Hard Candy,” 1993-2002. Starting off with “Round Here,” the audience was instantly engaged by singing along to words they knew well. Portland certainly has a fondness for its tribute bands and it’s not hard to realize why when you go to a show like this one that is full of tight musicianship that does the name band justice. You could tell from the smile on their faces that performing this music was one of pure joy, with each artist putting their all into their role.

Tyler-Stenson's-Counting-Crows-Tribute-on-01-30-16-27Watching Tyler onstage throughout the night was like seeing the young Tyler that was smitten by his mentor Adam Duritz and band. His ear to ear grin never left his face, and his entire being was thrown into this performance. At one point leading up to the show, Adam Duritz retweeted Tyler’s tweet, endorsing the show. It was recorded live, so hopefully, Adam will get to watch it and see that Tyler did him well.

Tyler-Stenson's-Counting-Crows-Tribute-on-01-30-16-03It is often a guessing game to see how many will come out on any given night, and that was certainly the case here. Any fears of a small crowd were quickly put to rest as the theater filled to just under capacity. From the first bars of music to the very last note, the entire audience was captivated. Sometimes one can go to a show and feel that magic is in the making, and Saturday’s show was definitely one of those times. It didn’t take long to realize the night was a success, and one that bears repeating. Fortunately, for all those Tyler Stenson fans, we will be rewarded with another.

Find a bunch of pictures of this special evening in the Portland Notes Photo Album.