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Think Out Loud

Musicfest Northwest

Pete Springer/OPB

When I moved to Portland from Los Angeles in 2002, Musicfest NW had already been in motion for two years.

While I got wise to many local rockers, like Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Dandy Warhols on my own, I was haunted by old stories about Portland’s music past. It seems that I had arrived on the scene a decade too late.

Attendance at subsequent Musicfest NWs was like a frenzied game of musical catchup. I couldn’t go back in time and catch Sugarboom opening for Swoon 23 at La Luna in 1995. I did, however, see Dead Moon and The Melvins play in 2006. Not only did I have a rare opportunity to see my favorite bands sharing stages with the giants that came before them, but I also joined the ranks of the thousands of Portlanders who hoof it from one venue to the next in celebration of living in a place that ranks music among its many values. 

This year, I’ll continue my rock education with some things old and some things new.

And lest you believe that the festival is frozen in time, it’s even bigger this year than last. Count on scurrying to 18 venues and Pioneer Square Sept. 7 to 11. Be sure to check out the color-coded lineup before filling in your dance card.

Which bands are you looking forward to seeing? What are your most memorable local shows?


  • Jeremy Petersen: OPB Music host and producer
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