Bigger: Kris Orlowski. Orlowski put together a gorgeous set. I’d just had some dinner and beer when I checked out his twilight set on the Pavilion Stage Saturday. His voice was at its rich best, which his full band – strings, horns and all – joined to create a huge sound that perfect for a post-dinner chill. Sadly, the crowd didn’t reflect the quality of the music. My guess is that Orlowski was a victim of a Saturday lineup that was given to hip-hop, with acts that pulled fan bases not inclined toward a guy who looks fresh in from Doe Bay.
Bigger: Ramona Falls. These guys pulled a decent crowd, but it should have been bigger at the Fountain Lawn Stage Sunday afternoon. Part of the Barsuk Records 15 year anniversary, the Portland band has a knack for taking simple kernels of songs and building them so subtly that I found myself disoriented at the end of several songs, or sort of “how did they get here?” wonder. I look forward to hearing more from them.
Smaller: Kithkin. Just kidding. These guys were rad. But band member Kelton Sears just started polluting Seattle Weekly’s pages with his writing, so we had to give this band, which specialized in a sort of druid-pop, some shit. But seriously, if everyone in a band is a wizard, they can use their magical powers to sound good, right? When Sears, by way of pumping the crowd up (?), began throwing esoteric text books into the crowd, I thought I was watching Reading Rainbow, 8th Century Edition. Don’t believe me? Go see them yourselves.