Cass McCombs & Kurt Vile at the Crystal Ballroom
All photos – Caitlin Webb
Those of us here in Portland tend to get a ton of great double bills, and from Deerhunter/Atlas Sound to Wild Belle/Django Django to Black Lips/Ariel Pink: October was rife with them. Few were as satisfying as the pairing of Cass McCombs and Kurt Vile – the latter of whom was headlining the show and touring behind his excellent 2015 release i b’lieve i’m goin down.
Given the uniquely sparse and melancholic nature of i b’lieve i’m goin down, the pairing of Combs and Vile makes perfect sense, and the expected evening of deep-thinking-but-chill-vibes (that’s a thing, right?) did not disappoint. McCombs was his usual transfixing self, and seemed genuinely enthused to be back in his old Pacific Northwest stomping grounds. For Vile’s part, he played nearly every song from his latest record, a move that – while surprising – didn’t leave many disappointed, as Kurt and his Violators went through i b’lieve i’m goin down’s cuts fantastically. Count this tour as another feather in the cap of two artists at the top of their game.