Rouge Wave - Portland, OR - 02/22/05

By brian

Rogue Wave
February 22, 2005
Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

There is a certain satisfaction that I get from seeing a great live show. It starts with discovering a band that is intriguing. Oakland's Rogue Wave is one such band. I first got word of their existence through the Sub Pop newsletters. What, I say, a new pseudo psychedelic indie rock band. Well count me in. Their album didn't take long to find its way into heavy rotation at my house. Their music was The Association, crossed with the Shins. Theirs is a beautiful blend of baroque pop and indie rock.

The show was at the Doug Fir Lounge. This is a new hot spot in Portland that I hadn't gone to yet. When I first arrived, I wasn't sure if I was in the wrong place. It looked distinctly like a Denny's restaurant. Not JUST a Denny's, but also one that had a motel attached. Yes, indeed. This was the former restaurant of the Jupiter Motel. The actual concert setting was in the basement area beneath the motel patio. Very odd- yes, but oddly enough, it turned out to be one of the better spots in Portland to see a show. After a pleasant, but uneventful opening set of shoegazer flashback, Rogue Wave went on.

They set forth in putting together a very straight forward, no frills, no flash set. They have great tunes, and they simply played. They did most of the tracks on the fantastic, "Out of The Shadow" album and a handful of new tracks. The tracks from the album were kept fairly similar to their studio sound. There wasn't any improvising, or messing about, which is good. Tight, consistent pop songs with catchy versus, and hooky choruses. Really, that's what music should be about anyway. The new tracks that were debuted have a hint of familiarity, but are a bit more adventurous. The band commented that they are going back to the studio following this tour to bang out the new album. From the sampler that we got, it should be a great step forward. To sum, great venue, Concise, catchy pop, amiable personalities and even a cover from The Who Sell Out. A good night out.