And so we come to the close. After a whirlwind ten days of nonstop performances, events and happenings, TBA:15 is done. With several sold out shows and a constant buzz at The Works each night, this TBA continued the tradition of pulling Portland’s art scene together for a shared experience of new ideas, important conversations and a renewed sense of community.
The Noise & Color crew was lucky to finish off our tenure with two exquisite acts at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall. Philippe Quesne’s crowd-pleasing La Mélancolie des Dragons transformed the stage into a cinematic set that saw a group of metalheads trying, rather beseechingly at times, to explain their traveling amusement park to a new acquaintance. At once acknowledging the set (lifting up the fake snow to plug in a projector) and playing within its false reality, the troupe constructed scene after scene for the bemused woman (and audience) from the trunk of their VW Rabbit and accompanying trailer. Long wigs askew and peering through a curtain of smoke and bubbles, the performance/play ended with towering forms made of tarpaulins and air slowly deflating as the lights faded.
The second night’s performance was by Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha. Employing everything from hand drums to harmonicas to cellos to some downright virtuosic bird calls, the group powered through a diverse set and came back to thunderous applause for a three song encore. Stemming from the roots of Ukrainian folk music, their music uses traditional structures only as a starting point, expanding outward into a sound that pulls from every genre imaginable (the near-gangster rap lead by Nina Garenetska as she strong-armed her cello was a particular standout).