December to Remember has been in full effect since Sunday, and I’ve had the pleasure of checking out the impressive lineup on Wednesday. The show was in the Rose Garden in their “Theater of the Clouds” where they partition off a section of the arena for a more intimate setting. The show started off with the quirky Canadian twin sister duo, Tegan and Sara, who very recently were nominated for a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. They played a variety of songs ranging from their newest single “Closer” to “Walking with a Ghost” off of So Jealous. Watching Tegan and Sara in a mini-arena setting with upwards of 6,000 other concert attendees is a little less intimate than one would be used to, but they pulled it off incredibly well.
Next up M83 arrived on the stage and transported the show into a full on electronic and laser filled expedition. It felt like Anthony Gonzalez was piloting us all along on a cinematic and empowering musical adventure. I just took everything in with sheer awe and excitement, there’s no better feeling than music reverberating through your body. The band commanded the crowd with spectacular synth buildups and a mesmerizing light and laser show. After a few songs in M83 warmed up the crowd and “Midnight City” seemed to wake up most of the crowd from their swaying and I saw some dancing. Overall the set was memorable and may have been my favorite of the night.
Lastly, what everyone was here for (I know this by the ratio of The Killers shirts and the screaming), the Las Vegas rock band, The Killers, ascended on to the stage and the crowd went wild. I probably know 2.5 songs from this band, and the only interaction or discussion I’ve had about this band has been with a gas attendant who commented on my friends Iron Maiden sweatshirt. He let us know that they (“The Killers”) were a “really great band.” The charismatic Brandon Flowers belted out song after song with ease, pausing to chat with the crowd about past shows, reasons for writing certain songs, and Portland. The set as a whole was remarkable, everything from light displays on the stage monitors that would match up with the video backdrop, fireworks, pyrotechnics, and “K” and thunderbolt confetti, all of these things really make the experience all it can be. The crowd was lively for the entire set, even people in the seats were standing up and dancing. Overall, despite the weird combination of artists, this show was a sight to be seen and quite enjoyable as well. My favorite part would probably be the fact that we had someone officially doing sign language for this show, like I said before…it’s the little things.
Words by Kimberly Lawson