On Friday, July 16th, The New Pornographers made their way over to Portland OR, to play a show for all of their many fans in the city at the Crystal Ballroom. The stage goes dark. The sign that spells their name in bright lights illuminates and flickers. The band’s intro track plays as the entirety of the band spills onto the stage; all nine of them. Yes, nine. After everyone in the band had made their way on stage, they cranked out their first song: "Myriad Harbor", from 2007 album Challengers (QRO review). A few songs in, A.C. Newman paused and said to the audience, "At the risk of sounding cliché… you got the beat." Which let the band to improvise the song "We Got the Beat" by the Go-Go’s for the next 5 minutes.
Topping off the main part of the set with their always epic "Bleeding Heart Show" from Twin Cinema, the band left the stage while the audience proceeded to cheer and yell which eventually turned into clapping and stomping on the rickety wooden floors of the Crystal Ballroom. The band came back out on stage and played an encore set that left their fans smiling and satisfied. The cherry on top of the encore set was their final song "Testament to Youth in Verse" off of 2003 album Electric Version; which everyone in the venue sang along to as one big choir, which even left all nine band members leaving with big grins on their faces.
The show was diverse with at least two songs referencing every single one of their five albums, each as good as the last. The New Pornographers are the type of band that doesn’t have singles that really stick out from the rest of their album. Not that this is a bad thing by any means! It just means that all their songs are on the same level, and they are all good enough to be singles. When you take a band with a writing style such as this, and give them a two hour set to play in front of hundreds of die hard fans, with openers like Imaad Wasif (QRO photos), and The Dodos (QRO photos), it is certain that one of the best shows of the year will ensue.