- Katie Summer
- Protesters calling for the Doug Fir to cancel the show
Protesters outside the Doug Fir on Tuesday night seemed to be organized primarily by people who had protested their Seattle show at Neumos last week. One woman I spoke with said she had only heard about the controversy recently through a student network called the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations, and saw the protest as a platform for discussion of cultural competency and integration of minority groups into the mainstream Portland culture and community. The protest in Portland was fairly short, lasting about two hours and disbanded by the time the band took the stage. Their full request, including canceling the show and an apology from the band, was listed on handouts and fliers, and can be seen here.
More images from the protest and the show after the jump.
The Doug Fir did not issue a statement about the protest, but there was a noticeable absence of the name "Viet Cong" anywhere at the venue: not listed on the marquee or on posters, and the website billed the show as "the band formerly known as Viet Cong," and the time sheet for the evening listed "headliner" in its place. The band was also not selling any merch, which is something they promised at the Seattle show protest.
- Katie Summer
- Signage used by the venue
The crowd at that evening's show was somewhat homogenous and not packed, but maybe no different from any other weeknight post-punk show in Portland. Grave Babies, a Sub Pop-affiliated band with a name that could also hold a certain level of distaste, played first and was wholly unmemorable. To my ears, they sounded too much like Alice In Chains but with worse vocals. Musically, the headlining band with no name played a short (not out of place for a band with only 14 released songs) but entirely evocative set. They presented the performance with a simple "Thank you for coming," and after a winding and passionate playing of their 12-minute song "Death," they didn't return to the stage for an encore. I'm interested in following their evolution as a band, in growth and learning, because they are blatantly talented and experiencing them play live is experiencing art.
Lots more photos from the show and protest below.