The overall vibe of the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR makes you feel like you are enjoying a nice, warm night in a log cabin with 300 of your closest friends. This past Wednesday night there, it was exactly like that. The kind of night where one of your friends brings out the guitar and everyone circles around them, and then as more drinks flow, the BPM of the music just keeps going up and up, until it is ultimately a party. Jaws of Love, the solo project of Local Natives’s Kelcey Ayer, kicked off the night with just a keyboard and a live drummer, but if you closed your eyes and listened, you would think there was a whole band on stage. The energy of Ayer and the personality he showed in between songs really opened up the audience to feel like we had known him for years.
Shortly after, when Bayonne took the stage, I was surprised because there were way more instruments than people on the stage. Bayonne, AKA Roger Sellers, was also joined by a live drummer and this show was unlike any performance I have seen. He started off with a simple piano jingle and looped it, then a few more piano chords, slowly adding several more layers and beats until the climax of the song. Every song was like this, starting with one instrument and building it up. It was fascinating to watch and listen to the process each time and really kept the attention of the audience as well. The hypnotic instrumentals were joined with occasional soft vocals and backdropped by trippy projections behind the two on stage. Sellers was in his own world on stage when composing these melodies. The audience could tell he does not do this for the money or fame, he simply just loves creating music that feels special. I could absolutely see him selling out a much larger venue the next time he comes around to Portland, and hopefully that won’t be too long.