Kikagaku Moyo
Kikagaku Moyo Katie Summer

More than 60 bands descended on Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley over the weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pickathon. It was a beautiful three days full of head-banging toddlers, wasps, dust boogers, and sunshine—read the Mercury's full recap below, broken down with nine lists.

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Jamila Woods
Jamila Woods Katie Summer

Biggest Surprises
• Pickathon’s bow-and-arrow-toting child gangs are one step away from a Lord of the Flies moment. (ALEX ZIELINSKI)
• Built to Spill covering the Pretenders’ “Back on the Chain Gang” and perfectly locating the song’s correct blend of melancholy and persistence. (NED LANNAMANN)
• The lines for Pok Pok are shorter than in Portland. (AZ)
• No one wants to discuss Portland politics. (AZ)
• When R&B singer Jamila Woods sang a medley of covers including Destiny’s Child's "Say My Name," Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name,” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” (JENNI MOORE)
• Less of a surprise, more of a delight: Getting to pet two different horses on the path between the Mount Hood Stage and the Galaxy Barn. (CIARA DOLAN)
• Seeing Rasheed Jamal don a cowboy hat for all of two seconds. (JM)
• I am not a huge fan of the format in Pickathon's Lucky Barn venue, which pairs artists with hosts for a sort of public interview. But off-grid rapper Milo—who missed his first scheduled festival set because of travel woes—was engaging and entertaining during his late-Sunday Lucky sesh, playing coy with host (and Mercury contributor) Santi Holley, telling funny stories, and wander-rapping atop a grab bag of great beats. With most of the remaining festivalgoers off watching DakhaBrakha on the main stage, Milo's charming set felt like a wonderful little secret for few dozen folks. (BEN SALMON)
• Dust is forever. (AZ)
• Black dust boogers—shouldn't still be a surprise my third year attending Pickathon, but alas, here we are. (CD)

Built to Spill
Built to Spill Katie Summer

Built to Spill
Built to Spill Katie Summer

Newest Threat
• Signs posted all over the farm this year warned festivalgoers away from underground wasp nests. While some yellow jackets seemed very interested in my Boke Bowl, they didn’t really seem to be a problem otherwise. (NL)

Best Child Busking
• A child tried to pull me into a card trick grift by shouting that his tricks were high in protein. Maybe he meant pro-teen? I respected his spin. (SUZETTE SMITH)
• The kid yelling "FREE TOY" to attract an audience. (CD)
• The young saxophone player who was invited to play with Broken Social Scene on the Woods Stage. They’d heard him busking earlier in the day, and decided their band didn’t have enough members already. (NL)

Best Things Written in Dust on Van Windows
• “Must Love Dogs.” (AZ)

Longest Lines
• The Galaxy Barn proved tougher than ever to actually get inside. Long lines throughout the day turned the steambox into the festival’s most frustratingly exclusive venue. (NL)
• Unsurprisingly, the Lucky Barn was also frequently jam-packed, with the line for Haley Heynderickx's set wrapping all the way around and out to the porta-potty area. (CD)

The War and Treaty
The War and Treaty Katie Summer

The War and Treaty
The War and Treaty Katie Summer

Best Musical Experience
• Psychedelic soul band Black Pumas was by far my favorite performance of the weekend. Singer Eric Burton’s powerful voice was somehow able to duel with producer Adrian Quesada’s mind-melting guitar solos!? The set was so good that my friend had to buy a T-shirt immediately after. (JM)
• Watching twee boys mosh to Arabic punk rock in a barn (Haram killed it). (AZ)
• The back-to-back sets from Phosphorescent and Broken Social Scene at the Woods Stage at Saturday, with night descending over the trees, somehow felt cozy despite the enormous crowd. (NL)
• It should probably be against the law for Sheer Mag to play the West during fire season. The Philly strut-rock 'n' soul quintet's set at the Woods Stage Saturday was my favorite of the weekend, thanks to lead singer's Tina Halladay's ever-present sneer—she sings like she's looking for a fight—and the toughest set of riffs around, courtesy a three-guitar attack. The young band's recorded output is essentially perfect so far. Turns out they have the live show to match it. (BS)
• Sunflower Bean really fought for their mid-Saturday Mount Hood Stage set, which happened as the day transitioned from oppressively hot to breezy and perfect. I think most people will remember the performance as magic for the weather change alone, but Sunflower Bean’s cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” was legitimately spooky and sweet. (SS)
• Shakey Graves grinning his way through a sweaty, hip-shakin’ set—and having the guy next to me yell “ZADDY!” at the stage after every song. (AZ)
• All of the fist-pumping children flashing devil horns while a well-mannered mosh pit raged along with Haram at the Treeline Stage. (CHIPP TERWILLIGER)
• Marisa Anderson casting spells in the Galaxy Barn with her mesmerizing guitar work and easygoing storytelling. (CT)
• Sheer Mag commanding the Woods Stage at dusk, proving they can belt out their cathartic arena rock in any setting. (CT)
• Both Wand sets, but specifically having my teeth rattled by "Bee Karma," a righteous jam from the band's 2017 LP Plum that builds through several tempo changes until control is lost to an angry swarm of guitar riffs, frenzied piano, pummeling drums, and frontman Corey Hanson's wailed repetitions of the phrase "Your heart is the only place/Memory cannot escape!" (CD)

Wand
Wand Katie Summer

Sunflower Bean
Sunflower Bean Katie Summer

Sunflower Bean
Sunflower Bean Katie Summer

Pros of Biking to Pickathon
• Never being in a car! Zero sweaty knees, anxiety-inducing DJ duty, traffic ennui, or the chance of getting jammed up against an oversharer. None of that! (SS)
• Blackberries on the Springwater Corridor. (AZ)
• Adventure! (AZ)
• Listening to Pickathon’s Spotify playlist on the ride out. (AZ)
• Feeling like you really deserve that first beer. (AZ)
• Telling people you biked to Pickathon. (AZ)
• You’re 100% in control of your trip. Arrive when you want. Leave when you want. (SS)
• Beautiful country scenery. Several horses seen. (SS)
• Everyone is so impressed (except for the other people that biked because they know it was super easy). (SS)
• Pickathon has plenty of close-up, secure bike parking. (SS)

Cons of Biking to Pickathon
• No bike lanes in the boonies. (AZ)
• You’re already kind of tired and then it’s time to carry your camping gear uphill. (SS)
• No cool Pickathon sticker for your car. (AZ)
• Wondering if your biking companion might die because she forgot her helmet. (AZ)
• Wondering if you might die because you took the lane on a logging road. (AZ)

Highlights from Conversations Overheard While Standing in Line:
• Deep introspection on the lyrics of “Cat Scratch Fever”—"Are they sexual?" Searches for the lyrics online. Another guy in line interjects: "Oh, it’s real." (SS)
• One dude shaming another dude for only attending one day of the festival ("Oh no it's cool, I totally respect that"). (CD)

Weirdest Wardrobe Choices
• Can someone please explain the phenomenon of wearing a bodysuit to a music festival? I’m sure it keeps you cool and free and easy as you’re bouncing up and down in the crowd. But what happens when you have to use the porta-potty? Actually… don’t tell me. (NL)
• Surgical gloves. (CD)

More photos after the jump!

Tinariwen
Tinariwen Katie Summer

Tinariwen
Tinariwen Katie Summer

Tinariwen
Tinariwen Katie Summer

Tinariwen
Tinariwen Katie Summer

Tinariwen
Tinariwen Katie Summer

Circuit des Yeux
Circuit des Yeux Katie Summer

Circuit des Yeux
Circuit des Yeux Katie Summer

Circuit des Yeux
Circuit des Yeux Katie Summer

Hailu Mergia
Hailu Mergia Katie Summer

Daniel Norgren
Daniel Norgren Katie Summer

Bedouine
Bedouine Katie Summer

Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag Katie Summer

Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher Katie Summer

Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher Katie Summer

Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher Katie Summer

Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher Katie Summer

Haley Heynderickx
Haley Heynderickx Katie Summer