The heat was no match for the artists, volunteers and fans at Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon, heading into the weekend.
From the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley, to the gritty guitar rock of Deer Tick, Pickathon Friday set a monumental tone for a weekend of music on the farm.
Related: Scenes from Pickathon 2017, Saturday
Scroll to see photos and reviews from Pickathon, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.
Deer Tick headlined the Mount Hood Stage on Friday night in front of several thousand festival attendees. In spite of the beautiful open-air setting, the four-piece rock band settled into an incredibly gritty block of songs that would have been right at home in the dirtiest, most claustrophobic dive. — Jerad Walker
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Thirty minutes before Charles Bradley even took the stage at Pickathon Friday night, the Woods Stage venue was standing room only. The crowd, jammed in like sardines, erupted into cheers when the former James Brown impersonator turned soul star finally stepped out onto the stage. He wasted no time in delivering the funky hits the crowd came to see. And for a man who didn’t even begin gaining recognition as a solo artist until his 60s, the crowd had little trouble singing along with every word. — Bryan M. Vance
Brooklyn, New York’s Big Thief fought through brutal temperatures at the Mount Hood Stage and delivered a set of likable but angular folk rock. — Jerad Walker
Watch: Big Thief performs at OPB.
Jay Som let their hair down a bit on Friday afternoon (at least when compared to their outstanding and smartly produced “Everybody Works”), treating the sweaty Pickathon crowd to a charming and refreshingly loose set that brought to mind the best of indie guitar rock circa 1998. Pair with beer and a shoulder to lean on while you sing along. (I know I did.) — Mike Dempsey
Watch: Jay Som performs at OPB.
The Last Artful, Dodgr
Portland’s very own The Last Artful, Dodgr and her DJ and partner in crime Neill Von Tally were greeted by a rowdy crowd to close out the busy slate of shows at Pickathon Friday. Taking the Starlight Stage just before midnight, Dodgr and Tally worked the crowd like seasoned vets, performing a mix of tracks off of their debut album “Bone Music” and new songs. The duo had the crowd moving from the second they took the stage. A true hometown hero, she also took a moment out of her performance to invite a young fan up on stage to thank him for showing her hospitality earlier in the day. — Bryan M. Vance
Watch: The Last Artful, Dodgr performs at OPB.
I had been warned before their set that Sweet Spirit is known for wild performances, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed Friday evening in the Galaxy Barn. The air-conditioning didn’t matter — Sweet Spirit had the barn hotter than a summer evening in their native Austin, Texas. Lead singer Sabrina Ellis set the tone for the wild, eardrum-shattering show when she ran out on stage in a shark-themed child’s bathing suit. Between one guitarist moshing in the crowd, another swinging from the rafters, and Ellis scaling the chain link fence that lined the stage, the band rocked the crowd like no other at Pickathon. Oh, and don’t let their antics fool you. This band shreds. — Bryan M. Vance
I walked into Xenia Rubinos’ 8 p.m. set finally feeling like the heat had passed for the day; I walked out feeling hotter than ever. Such is the effect of her singular math rock-R&B hybrid. With an astonishing rhythm section that was as tight as … errr… a drum, she had us all dancing in the dust to beats we barely understood. — Mike Dempsey
Sounding like a whiskey-drunk Roy Orbison on a pretty deep sad streak, Kiwi Marlon Williams broke some hearts in his Friday evening set on the low-key Starlight Stage. He’s an extraordinary crooner, and his songs made for a lovely and melancholy start to Pickathon after dark. — Mike Dempsey
Ghost-Note is known for bringing the rhythm and they didn’t disappoint Friday afternoon at the Mount Hood Stage. The crowd fought through sweltering heat and hazy air quality to boogie down to the funky sounds of this relative newcomer to the music scene. — Bryan M. Vance
Y La Bamba
Festival attendees escaped the heat and sat on the concrete floor of the (sort of) air-conditioned Galaxy Barn awaiting a performance from Y La Bamba. When the music started, the crowd rose to their feet and the temperature began to rise, but no one seemed to care as the Portland band tore into a highly danceable set. — Jerad Walker
With the faint odor of marijuana in the air, the crowd was treated to the cool island vibes of St. Croix’s own Dezarie at the Woods Stage Friday afternoon. The audience swayed to the smooth sounds of this reggae queen, and were treated to some epic riffs from Dezarie’s bass player. — Bryan M. Vance
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Lucy Dacus has developed a reputation as a powerful indie rocker. Friday, at Pickathon’s Woods Stage she didn’t disappoint, starting off her set with a strong but slow solo ballad, before bringing her band on stage for a set full of her individual flair. — Bryan M. Vance
If that wasn’t enough, scroll for more photos from Friday at Pickathon.
Got a case of F.O.M.O.? Don’t. You can follow Pickathon on opbmusic all weekend long with a live video stream, photos and reviews.