Hyperbole? Well, I don’t think so. But I really think that last night's PDXchange Program show featuring The Helio Sequence and local openers Empty Space Orchestra was one of the coolest rock shows I’ve ever seen in Bend, and probably the best for the Tower Theatre.
Less than a week after the much-raved-about Band of Horses show at the LSA, The Helio Sequence nearly sold out the Tower and proved that maybe, just maybe Bend will start supporting indie rock, thus enticing more awesome Portland bands to make the short trip over the mountains.
First off, it looked like a rock show, which is important. The first three rows of seats were removed, making for enough up-front standing room for the 100 or more fans that made their way up there by the beginning of The Helio Sequence’s set. And perhaps the most delightful sight of the entire night was seeing Henry Abel, the brains and legs behind the PDXchange Program, right up front, taking pictures and generally rocking out – which is exactly what one should do when he throws a big rock show like this.
Empty Space Orchestra opened the show, arriving in matching black jumpsuits and pumped out 45 or so minutes of their hard-rocking, brain-jiggling instrumentals, receiving wild applause from the crowd who’ve taken pride in one of Bend’s most promising young acts.
Then Helio Sequence wasted little time creating the reverb-laden wall of sound that’s been their calling card for more than a decade. Brandon Summers’ voice sounded smooth and deep inside the Tower and the samples and keys provided by drummer/tech wizard Benjamin Weikel made for a proper dance party down front.
At the end of the set, they brought up ESO’s Lindsey Elias to drum along and she did just that – perfectly hitting along with Weikel. You can see all this in the video below.