Portland @ Wild Westin (De Creon): Brilliant “Sexy”

© Central Processing Unit – Anne Carpentier (archive)

Poetic dream pop that begins with melancholy plays with darkness and light, but always strikes the right chord; This is Portland. First album Your colors will stain (2019) is up there with hits like “Step down“,”You misread meAnd the masterpiece “Lucky Clover” is clear proof of that. A little over a year ago, shortly before its release Departure, we're told that Portlandia will no longer music as a duo. The passing of musical other half Sarah Peebles was a bitter pill for Ginty Perrone, but that didn't stop him from continuing on his own. However, Pironi's diagnosis of brain cancer prevented him from performing regularly for an indefinite period. In the meantime, the artist is back on track. He has appeared on the stages of many festivals, both within and beyond our national borders, but last night Pironet chose a more intimate setting for De Kreun.

© CPU – Marvin Anthony (archive)

A few minutes after the clock hit eight, the figure of French-speaking electro-pop singer Orlan appeared behind the microphone. Bathed in the purple light of the lights, she performed her first song “Dangero game“She went for it right away and didn't wait a second to sing as soon as she got on stage. Although it's not her native language, she addressed the audience in Dutch to introduce herself. She told us that she recently released her first EP Prism “Even though we don't speak the same language, I hope you enjoy listening to it,” he added. Judging by the positive feedback from the audience, Orlin has succeeded in winning over a previously small audience. During a short set of only twenty-five minutes, she showed a lot of herself. Not only did her full, rich voice sound flawless, but she played acoustic guitar, keyboard, and even brought out the saxophone for a couple of songs. Orlin's voice shifted seamlessly between sensual, depressive, and danceable. Before concluding her set with her first single, “What are your pens?“, she informed all attendees that she will be attending the event on October 29 Old Belgium Come. Once the last note was finished, the audience let the singer go amid applause full of praise and appreciation.

© Central Processing Unit – Anne Carpentier (archive)

It became very noisy at De Creon as they anxiously awaited Portland's arrival. Just after 9am, the lights were turned off and we were shown live images of Perronette walking down some aisles on his way to the stage. A number of instruments were already there waiting for us, but for the opening song we had to settle for playing acoustic guitar. Pironet, wearing a deep pink velvet T-shirt, began with the subdued and fragile “Time To Talk.” After the Pironet companions also appeared, the delicate and intimate atmosphere was maintained for a while with quieter releases of, among others, “Alyson” and “Sensational”.

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Pironet's stage animal slowly woke up during “Step Aside,” which he performed with more attitude and stage presence. Then the desire to increase the tempo exploded during an extended version of the song. The vocals were removed through instrumental intervention, with Pironet providing a new tone. He explained that he was no longer able to control the energy in his body during “Serpentine,” where he held the microphone loosely in his hand for the first time and moved effortlessly from one point to another on the stage. The finale has been given a new look. The quintet worked hard, accompanied by a veritable light show, with Bram van Hove taking over as Pironet guitar and drummer and Nina Kortekaas completing the whole show with impressive vocals.

After quite a few apotheosis, especially in “Good Girls” and “Deadlines,” where Perronet lay broken on the floor while plucking his strings, he had to take a break. “Sometimes I can completely forget what's really going on,” he admitted, puzzled. With the heartbreaking “Lucky Clover,” peace is finally restored. It took some effort not to have to shed tears. Kortekaas' vocals were further emphasized by the additional shriek and high notes that she produced so easily and with so much clarity. The same mesmerizing effect continued for a while with closing tracks “Pouring Rain” and “She Really Means It,” with Pironet inviting the audience to take out their smartphones or other light sources and sway to the sound waves.

© Central Processing Unit – Anne Carpentier (archive)

It makes sense that Portland sold out De Kreun Hall. From start to finish, we were dazzled by Portland's sparkling charm. We don't have much to say about it other than that it was “exciting” and that we were able to watch the scene with sparkling eyes. The stardust spread by Portland flew around for a while as we returned home with our heads in the clouds.

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Portland club shows in Bruges and Ghent were hopelessly sold out. Anyone who wants to see Portlandia in action this summer should head to Festival Square. They will be at the forefront on Friday, August 2nd DranouterAnd after one day you can see them in Sugarrock In Tinin. On Friday, November 15, Portland will play its biggest local show yet Royal Circus In Brussels.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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