Adia Victoria summed up the evening perfectly when she uttered those words from the Mississippi Studios stage during a set that saw both she and impressive opener Amenta Abioto captivated the crowd with wildly original sets consisting of very different music.
Although her music had been recommended to me before, I went into Amenta Abioto’s set having no idea what to expect and had one of those “holy shit!” moments that make live music so exciting. Abioto’s music consists of her building songs live on stage via repeated loops of her soulful voice layered over different incarnations of itself—and Abioto can shift the tone and feel of her voice with amazing dexterity. Abioto alternated between hunching over her equipment and dancing animatedly while singing her ass off. High, low, intense, delicate; she ably executed each shift in tone in such a fashion that it was impossible to keep track of how many different layers she had going at once. Both Amenta Abioto’s music and performance were original in every sense of the word, and I was clearly not the only one taken aback by her performance, as the Portland-via-Memphis artist left the stage to rapturous applause—it’s been many moons since I’ve seen an opener receive such a send-off.
I’ve always been inspired by the ocean. Coming from the Midwest, the ocean and ocean type products just weren’t….right. I begged my parents to move to California when I was 13 just so I could swim in the ocean everyday.
Listening to Siren and the Sea for the first time took me back in ways I wasn’t prepared for. Before moving to Portland, I lived in Sydney, Australia for a year. In wild, fun Oz I worked for a marketing company & got tickets through work to see Florence and The Machine live.
It was a seated performance in a artsy part of town. I went with a work colleague – we sat, white wine in hand, no idea what to expect. I had never been in such a small space with such a creative force. Ceremonials was very newly released & I left shaken to my core.
Tiki put me onto Siren & The Sea a few months ago. Every time I heard Cristina’s voice on my Soundcloud, my mind would whip back to that night in Sydney. And to my life before Portland.
On the opening night of This Time With Feeling, Blossom moved us into a great rhythm with Neill crafting beats and Corey on drums. Then Cristina brought her band out. While I watched Cristina explain her vision and dream to the audience and then perform – I couldn’t help but know I was witnessing history.
I’ve been blown away by the talent coming out of Portland. Keep it up creative family. Show the world what the Pacific Northwest is all about.
Oxford Mississippi. It’s been a year since I’ve been in the town of my alma mater, Ole Miss (The greatest school known to man). Of course it would be Top Dawg Entertainment lyricist Isaiah Rashad that gave me an excuse to leave the rainy, and unexpectedly snowy, Pacific Northwest to venture back to the land of the best drunk food and best looking campus in the country. Rashad, also known as Zaywop or Zay, also gave me an excuse to see old friends, professors, and my goddaughter so my trip was slightly overdue.