Roseland Theater, Portland
Oregon July 26. 2002

Last Update: 13. november 2003

 Portland, Oregon July 26. 2002 . Photo: Neil Goldstein

All photos by: Neil Goldstein

Portland show was phenomenal

I went to the Knitting Factory show, and it was since then I've been looking forward to Portland and Seattle. But like others, after reading a bit about the show in SF, I was wondering if the magic would be pulled together again.

At the Roseland Theater, they started with a fairly ragged version of Little Red Book. I was up at the front, and Arthur seemed although the crowd was VERY enthusiastic I was wondering what would come next. Arthur joked a bit about having less talk at the show, more music...

...but from there on out, Arthur's performance built layer on layer of intensity, and I think it was even better than Knitting Factory. I thought he fed off of the positive energy from the fans - he REALLY got into it. Arthur was very animated, and signaled out a lot of the lyrics (like "thumbing a ride" in Red Telephone, firing off an imaginary machine gun during You Set The Scene "fight for what his father thinks is right", etc. etc.).

Highlights for me were Red Telephone, which had a long finale where Arthur prompted the crowd to chant "Freedom", and Singing Cowboy, which also had long coda where Arthur led the crowd in chanting the "woo hoo"s. Signed D.C. was also terrific, with extended harmonica work from Mr. Lee.


 Portland, Oregon July 26. 2002 . Photo: Neil Goldstein 

The band likewise were fantastic. Very tight, and they really got into it as Arthur did. I've gotta say that Rusty, Dave, Dave, and Mike bring out the very best in these songs, and put an aggressive stamp on them that works perfectly in the live setting and brings out another dimension versus the original versions.

I saw the set list before the show, but the actual order was quite a bit different...there was a lot of spontenaity throughout. Once they'd played everything except Singing Cowboy (the planned finale), Arthur turned to Rusty and Rusty seemed to say "that's it" (e.g. we've played them all) they finally wrapped up with the aforementioned S.C.

Portland, Oregon July 26. 2002 . Photo: Neil Goldstein

The crowd was much smaller than the Knitting Factory, but just as intensely passionate as that show (which is saying a hell of a lot). Arthur was *extremely* thankful to the crowd, and clearly was having a ball. In fact, he didn't seem to want to leave at all. After they left the stage, he started to walk back out, with a big smile on his face, and Mike R. gave him a "you've already given 'em everything" bear hug, and they finally walked backstage.

All in all, a beautiful show, and I hope that Arthur keeps feeding off of the Love being directed his way by the fans!

Brad Davis

Portland, Oregon July 26. 2002 . Photo: Neil Goldstein Portland, Oregon July 26. 2002 . Photo: Neil Goldstein