At Saturday's Portland Indie Invasion, there was something different, something special, and something fun - all the qualities needed for a solid show.
First up was the "something different," which meant a set from father/daughter duo Alexandra and Hilary Hanes who performed as Tortune and took the stage to share their brand of self-described death pop. An innocent-looking Lex headed the duo on guitar and vocals and brandished some stellar pipes in near opera style while Dad plucked away at the bass and pressed play on the drumbeats.
In the bridge slot of the night was folk rock band Norman, who delivered a powerful set that it didn't seem anyone saw coming. Fresh off the release of their new CD, Hay, Hay, Make A Wish and Turn Away, Norman defined themselves in a way not blatantly evident by listening to their records. For example, the album version of "Reaching Jefferson" is just a shell of what it became during their performance that night that included a hand-clapping chorus. This was easily the song that sent people over to the merchandise table to snag the new disc.
The Dimes concluded the evening with quality music that Bend just isn't used to on a typical Saturday night. Fronted by singer/songwriter Johnny Clay, The Dimes' new album The King Can Drink The Harbour Dry, uses country pop rock as a vehicle for telling abbreviated tales from American history set in Boston, and on stage, they love to perform it. Tight renditions of their songs conjured up visions of 60s pop as Clay's vocals dipped into a bit of Paul McCartney and at one point had him hopping around the stage on one leg like a young Keith Richards.
By the end of the night, The Dimes and Norman had given the Bend audience but a taste of the picturesque Portland indie rock landscape, but it was a delicious morsel.