October 4, 2011
In my first blog I touched on the rich history of Portland’s music scene, and nowhere is this more prevalent than within the venues that are spread throughout the city. Often times, when a person thinks of music in Portland they think of places like the Roseland Theater, a venue that for the last forty years has housed many of the top national touring packages rolling through America, or The Satyricon, a place recently demolished that many of the “grunge” bands of the early 90’s played before they broke big, (it’s also the place where Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love first met… I guess you could say infamously). The nice thing about the aforementioned venues is that they have a rich history, and now there is another venue in the Portland area that is developing a history of its own: the Hawthorne Theatre.
Located on the corner of SE 39th and Hawthorne, the venue can hold 600-700 people, features two bars, and can house both all ages and 21+ shows. The unique thing about the atmosphere of the venue is that no matter where you are at, you feel close to the stage; it is always an intimate environment. Further, it caters to both the local scene and larger, national shows. On one night you may go see modern-day thrash metal giants Darkest Hour, then turn around the very next evening and bear witness to a local blues showcase.
The eclectic nature of its musical offerings is one thing that makes it such a unique place, but music isn’t all the venue has to offer. If you simply want to have a few drinks you can enjoy an evening in the lounge where there is often low-key acoustic acts playing. Also, it is surrounded by many awesome restaurants, in a nice part of town, so if someone wants to make a night of it they can easily do so.
Sometimes it can be difficult to sift through everything Portland’s music scene provides. It is easy to become overwhelmed with everything that is happening because it seems that just about every night there are one hundred shows going on. But knowing where to look is important; IT professionals work long days, and at the least having somewhere to start if one wants to go out is helpful. My suggestion is to always keep the Hawthorne Theatre in mind if you’re ever in Portland and want to check out a place featuring good music and a solid atmosphere.
- Aaron McCoy, Researcher/Heavy Metal Aficionado