There's a middle ground in the summer concert scene that falls somewhere between dancing it out and packing a picnic and sacking it out. It's a world where lighters are held high, voices rise from the crowd (off key but in unison), and the most sophisticated dance move is a deeply felt step touch. These are the shows you'd be a little let down seeing in a sit-down concert hall, but at which dancing is hardly required.
While not every show in the series on the McMenamins lawn at Edgefield fits into the sub-genre of sway, there are a number of prospects prime for singing and shifting along. Put on your fanciest vegan attire for Morrissey on Thursday, July 23 (sorry, no cats allowed). And, channel your inner joker, smoker, and midnight toker as the Steve Miller Band plays its music in the sun (Tuesday, August 4).
The Waterfront Blues Festival is a Portland classic, now in its 28th year, and features a wide range of sultry acts from across generations. From old timers Buddy Guy and Allen Toussaint to newer voices like Macy Gray and Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas. And remember the Neville Brothers? Turns out, they have a sister, Charmaine Neville. She'll be putting her own spin on her family's famous sound. (Thursday, July 2-Sunday, July 5, Waterfront Park, Portland).
Prefer to get your sway on with a cold can of PBR in hand? There a fest for that, Project Pabst. Genre-wise, this one runs the gamut, but with a common thread of poppiness. That means one thing: drunken sing-a-longs with thousands of your new best friends. With big names like Weezer, Blondie, TV on the Radio, Against Me!, Run the Jewels, and The Both (Aimee Mann/Ted Leo), enough people should know the words that even if you don't, no one will notice. (Saturday, July 18-Sunday, July 19, Portland)
And, rounding out the summer, Musicfest Northwest is a perennial favorite, chock full of shows begging for a easy back and forth groove. Whether your feet are fueled by Foster the People (best know for "Pumped Up Kicks"), the horn-infused pop of Beirut, or the nostalgia-inducing indie rock of Modest Mouse, it'll be like synchronized swimming, only standing up, and not in water (Friday, August 21-Sunday, August 23, Portland). (ER)