Amelia Meath opened Sylvan Esso’s set at the Portland State Theater with a song about songs. “Sound,” the stripped-back opener of the duo’s 2017 album “What Now,” hears Meath at a near whisper, “All you’ll hear is sound, and / All you’ll feel is sound, and / All you’ll be is sound.” The lines aim to unify the natural and the artificial, as Meath sings note for note beside a lone synthesizer.
In an industry where artists are usually discovered on a streaming platform rather than onstage, building a live show or even having stage presence seems no longer necessary to “make it.” But for this series showcasing artists with upcoming concerts in the Portland area, we are lucky to have Hippo Campus, a Minnesota indie band that rose to fame mainly due to a knack for electrifying live performances.
Memorably eccentric and effortlessly endearing, the Tufts-bred band Crumb was an instant hit at Quinby House last Saturday night. The performance, featuring songs from the quartet’s latest EP “Locket,” wrapped up the final installment of WBOR’s fall concert series.
Xenia Rubinos’ music is refreshingly bold and authentic. An up-and-coming singer and composer, Rubinos recently released her album “Black Terry Cat.” Brought to campus by WBOR, she performed a sampling of her music at Ladd House this past Saturday. Rubinos emphasizes the creative capacity of individual experiences and self-expression. Her work documents an ongoing exchange between her state of mind and the exterior world. She describes her style as soulful, with a lot of energy and love.