Whether they came to McMenamins White Eagle Saloon for a quick drink or an evening out with friends, everyone had the pleasure of listening to musical performances they won’t soon forget. On Wednesday night, #WomenCrush Music held their April showcase featuring the talent of Tabi Anne, Amy Hakanson, The Crying Eyes, and Kaiya On The Mountain. From Scandinavian folk music to alternative country and from a one-woman band to a four-piece folk troupe, there truly was something for everyone to enjoy.
Surrounded by the usual collection of eclectic decor typical of a McMenamins pub, Tabi Anne began her set with mellow vocal harmonies and synthetic textures. Using her computer to launch backing tracks and a bright blue electric guitar with a lighting bolt strap to play lead instrumentals, Tabi introduced her lyrics into the mix. Her lyrics told stories of loneliness and sadness, but also of hope and quiet reflection. Although this was one of Tabi’s first formal shows outside of open mics, she never strayed from the pensive and focused delivery of her music. She blended lead guitar effortlessly with vocal harmonies often heard from folk groups such as First Aid Kit or Upstate Rubdown.
Second to take the stage was Amy Hakanson, who picked up an instrument that looked like a violin-piano hybrid and immediately had the crowd’s attention. Turns out, the instrument is a nyckelharpa, and she’s incredible at it. After starting her set with a traditional Scandinavian tune, she then played an original composition she wrote for an Icelandic couple as a thank you for letting her stay with them for free. Halfway through her set, she was joined by an acoustic guitar player as well as a hand drummer. Between her endearing storytelling about her instrument and her skill with a looping pedal and harmonies, it was clear why the audience remained captivated through her time on the stage.
To change the mood, the next performance was from The Crying Eyes, a three-piece indie-rock band with Elyce Tyler on vocals. Wiith a groovy bass and shiny, red drums playing strongly behind her, Tyler was putting out Joan Jett vibes for all to hear. It was obvious to the crowd the chemistry between all members of the band as they took turns with solos and rocking together. Heads were nodding and toes were tapping and a collective sigh of disappointment was heard from the crowd when it was time for them to end their set.
Finishing out the night was Kaiya On The Mountain. Out of the four members of the band lead by Kaiya Pelletier, three of them played acoustic guitar with one member on keys. Having three guitarists gave their music a jam-band feel, each playing off one other and skillfully interacting. They gave out what Kaiya called “hometown vibes” with narrative lyrics and emotion-filled vocals. The crowd got a taste of what this band is capable of as they performed un-released originals, published favorites, and covers.
To learn more about #WomenCrush Music’s upcoming showcases and how you can get involved, visit www.womencrushmusic.com.
Review by: Emily Watson
Emily Watson was raised in New England and now lives in Portland, OR. She spends her free time writing indie-pop music and exploring Oregon. You can follow her on Instagram @emjaywat.