We’ll hope that both of the first-time ever events that took place last Saturday will return annually, and be as successful in the future as their debuts.
The underused and oddly populated Lincoln Park was a temporary home to 70 vendors from the DIY indie craft scene. Artists sold items and services as diverse as stuffed bunny-shaped amplifiers, jewelry, silk-screened T-shirts and posters, and tarot-card readings. In front of the three-tiered fountain (not to be confused with a children’s swimming pool) the Picnic stage hosted to several bands throughout the day: Bird in the Rafters, Dead End Armory, Brenda, Huak, Confusatron, Cougars kill Cobras, Honey Clouds, and The Rattlesnakes.
Much like the Renegade Craft Fair that takes place in Brooklyn, Chicago, and San Francisco, Picnic gave Portland that big-city feel.
The Homecoming Dance at SPACE Gallery was the perfect after-party, complete with streamers, balloon pillars, a basketball hoop, and a disco ball. Couples and singles came dressed in tuxedo jackets, lace, and tulle — and were able to complete the look at the “make your own corsage” table.
Starting off the cover-band night with “My Boyfriend’s Back” were the Josh Loring Quartet (all the members of Cult Maze), whose set was comprised of standard school-dance familiars, including a rendition of Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything for Love,” with show stealer Peet Chamberlain on lead vocals.
Up next were Spencer Albee and the School Spirit Mafia, who took us back in time with classics like “The Great Pretender.” Their exquisite performance was filled out with flawless harmonies, impeccable stage presence, and classy school-spirit outfits (including Katherine Albee’s floor-length, white polyester Eagles cheerleading get-up!).
Rounding out the night and reminding us why he truly is Portland’s best DJ was DJ Jon. Enhanced by air-horn sound effects, a seamless transition of mash-ups of Tears for Fears, MIA, and Madonna ended with the essential “99 Red Balloons.”