The 42nd annual Waterfront Blues Festival started off with a bang July 2nd, as Gregg …
Glow stick halos illuminated the underage dance floor as I observed from the overage section. I was surrounded by a sprinkling of chaperoning mothers as Yuno took stage. The Floridian group opened with a song that sampled Sister Nancy, but they didn’t stick to the rastafarian genre. The quartet had a wide range in terms of having their own sound but, don’t let the lack of cohesion take away from their talent and spirit. They left the crowd in happy spirits with their closing track, “No Going Back”. Their set list, a bunch of mismatched squares that stitched together a quilt that warmed up the stage for the following act, Superorganism.
The London based band took the stage, paying homage to Portland as they scattered across the stage in raincoats carrying glowing orbs. Their childlike energy made it feel as if they were putting on a show at the playground during recess. The three backup singers sang with sprite and created notes similar to those of Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson from the B-52’s. You know, those strange yet purposeful yelps and screams. Wonder Ballroom was made up of about two thirds teenagers who were all wishing they didn’t care about the show as much as they truly did, ironically complimenting the apathetic tone of lead singer Orono Noguchi.
Their eclectic sound matched their unordinary music production arrangements– they communicate and plan through various digital platforms while managing to maintain musical alignment. The group is mostly based out of London, although member Earl Ho (Soul) resides in
Australia while working on several solo projects. Their tour continues throughout the states and skips back across the pond to Bristol, UK this October.
Words and photos by Kayleigh O’Malley