Music of March

Music of March

Marking one year of the pandemic, Portlanders are finally getting back to a semblance of our normal lives. Any Portland native knows that our city of hipsters and hippies run on one thing (besides overpriced coffee), music! In the month of March, two musicians catering to the indie audience of Portland visited with sold out performances in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

On March seventh, artist Mitski took to the stage after her release of her sixth album “Laurel Hell” – a nuanced indie pop record addressing her relationship with her career and the music industry. Prior to the albums release on February fourth, Mitski released the hit single “Working for the Knife” on October 5. Opening with the line “I cry at the start of every movie, I guess cause I wish I was making things too” – addressing her hesitant return to the music industry after stating she would be retiring in 2019.

Opening the concert, Japanese rock band CHAI performed nine songs including their hit single “No More Cake” & Mitski opened her set with record “Love me More.” Her impeccable, expressive stage music filled with dance and emotion kept the audience captivated throughout the show. Mitski performed six songs from Laurel Hell, six from “Bury me at Makeout Creek” – six from “Be the Cowboy” – four from “Puberty 2” – and one from “Retired From Sad, New Career in Business.” Mitski has certainly hit the ground running with her return to music, planning to tour Europe this summer and open concerts for Harry Styles.

Two weeks later, Indie/bedroom pop artist Claire Cotrill known as “Clairo” came to perform at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Making her debut in 2017 with posting singing videos on YouTube, Claire has since garnered over eleven million listeners on Spotify. Opening the concert UK singer-songwriter Arlo Parks performed songs from their album “Collapsed in Sunbeams” and new single “Softly”. During an intermission, they say “You guys have a beautiful city, I’ve spent a small fortune at Powells.” Clairo sang every song from her new album “sling” in addition to a few from her album “Immunity.” One of the most pleasing aspects of the show was Claire’s stage presence in addition to her band, giving a performance with breathtaking saxophone and guitar solos. Towards the end of the set, Arlo joined Clair in her performance of “Blouse.” Claire states it is her “favorite thing that happens at the show.” Claire’s music often reflects experience in the music industry in addition to melodies exploring bisexuality.

Both of these concerts brought beautiful, emotional performances in a beautiful theater leaving Portland natives excited for the music that is to come.