Today is the final day of Portland's annual Music Fest North West; a 6 day festival that includes 4 nights of outdoor shows in Portland's Pioneer Square as well as shows held indoors at venues throughout the city. Music Fest North West (MFNW) is an inclusive citywide party where one can see a variety of artists perform, and because the whole city of Portland is the stage, the event mandates that one trek across the city by any means necessary to get to one's desired venue. However, the task is not as daunting as it seems given that the city of Portland is both small enough and pedestrian friendly enough to make the commute an enjoyable adventure.
With a solid number of big name acts and a plethora of local acts to see, there has been no shortage of fun here. Diplo, RL Grime, Le1f, and Shlomo all reached capacity early and acts such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Dodos, xxyyxx, Joey Bada$$, and Prefuse 73 drew large crowds to their respective venues, making elbow room a sparse luxury, but given the caliber of performances, it was easy to ignore such things. Additionally, Portland artist Natasha Kmeto kicked off her fall tour at the Holocene with Prefuse 73, The Great Mundane, and Braxton Palmer; her tour dates can be found here: http://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=21018. Animal Collective headlined in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday and put on a spectacular show, playing their well known songs alongside their newer ones and were accompanied of mesmerizing plumes of light that projected onto the stage and the buildings behind the audience. Young The Giant and The Head and The Heart headlined the square on Thursday and Saturday respectively, while Neko Case performed there earlier today; all three drew crowds that filled out the square night after night.
Against the backdrop of Portland, MFNW provides an opportunity for one to witness firsthand the full potential of Portland's nightlife. Arguably one of the only times of the year when Portland approaches a level of motion and busyness on par with New York City, MFNW is an absolutely necessary event for anyone on the west coast who wants to adventure in Portland during the nicest time of the year. The only downside to MFNW is that a number of bands, local and otherwise, decide to book themselves for multiple shows, which, on the plus side, gives everyone the opportunity to see some great acts more than once, but on the negative side, it gives everyone the opportunity to see not-so-great acts more than once. However, given the already enormous lineup of high caliber artists, it is easy to overlook this flaw, as the experience itself is still an inspiring one. MFNW 2013 ends tonight with Ill-Esha and Big Gigantic at the Crystal Ballroom; anyone who isn't partied out tonight should go, but for everyone else: start saving and mark your calendars for next years MFNW!!!