Thanks, Just Lions and Us Lights at Mississippi Studios on Jan. 24, 2015

XRAY.fm welcomed an outstanding bill of #PDXmusic to Mississippi Studios.


It's Saturday night and Mississippi Studios is filled to capacity—for good reason—in anticipation of an exceptional night of music from three of Portland’s finest bands. Emerging artist Us Lights opened the evening led by Michael Young's superb vocals, which blended perfectly with the band's heavy, synth-driven, dark pop sound. Next up was the trio Just Lions featuring Chandler Strutz (vocals/guitar), Andrew Shepherd (drums/vocals) and Adam Sweeney (bass/vocals). Their set was filled with a great mix of pop, rock and jazzy songs as well as some serious guitar shredding by Strutz that left the room buzzing as they wrapped up their set.

After headliners Thanks took the stage, it didn’t take long for singer Jimi Hendrix and the band to warm up. Early into the set, Hendrix stood at the edge of the stage, interacting with audience members as the whole band led a cheer and the crowd pumped their fists with excitement. Clearly, the fans of Thanks came ready to get their rock on, basking in the band's raw, riveting performance. In my opinion, Thanks is on the verge of breaking out to a much wider audience—they could hold their own on any major stage, they have depth (more than most), a genuine love for what they are doing, and some real songwriting talent.

This was an exceptional show, with all three bands clearly having fun performing for their fans. For this photographer, everything was, well, perfect. The music, as well as everything in between, left nothing more to ask for. For the many who missed out on this show, get out and see these bands the next time you can.

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