Concert Review: Portland duo and alum serenade crowd

Brendan Swogger

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On the north side of campus, emanating from the stands in the football stadium, roars and cheers could be heard belting out as the Boxers took on the Chapman University Panthers the night of Friday, Sept. 6.

Though the energy from the crowd could be felt campus-wide, the opposite side of Pacific University’s grounds housed more mellow evening events.

Students set their picnic blankets down on the east lawn of Marsh Hall, carefully toasted marshmallows by the coals of a warm fire, and prepared to enjoy a night of music to end off the second week of the semester.

Leading up to the evening, posters and banners around campus advertised the Ace Board event with Portland duo Talbott Brothers. However, the alt-country band was not the only act to grace the stage that night.

Pacific alumna Tara Velarde ‘13, music education, was a pleasant surprise, having made a name for herself around the Portland music scene over the years.

Velarde’s smooth, bluesy vocal performance was the perfect vessel for her impassioned and poetic lyrics. Backed by nothing more than a guitar and cajon, Velarde proved her skills and showed just the amount of talent this university has to offer to the world.

While Velarde’s short but sweet opening set was already a perfect soundtrack to the setting sun, as the sky grew darker and the stars began to shine, the evening’s headline took to the stage.

Though Portland’s Talbott Brothers, Nick and Tyler, can often be seen with a full band behind them, Friday night’s special set saw the duo taking things acoustic.

Armed with guitars, harmonica, and a mandolin between them, their set took on a beautiful tone, filling the air with soulful harmonies and a crisp country sound. Originally hailing from Nebraska, the Brothers’ music lies deep within the roots of Americana. With a forward focus on storytelling, their songs conveyed stories of home, family, heartache and brotherly love.

Reminiscent in sound of classic Mumford and Sons, the duo did not dive too far into the country twang to put off any of the crowd. Their focus on harmonies, lush guitar work, and heartfelt lyrics opened the music to everyone on the lawn.

Playing through tracks off their older records, as well as previewing new ones to come on an upcoming October release, the band gave the perfect soundtrack to a beautiful night: crystalline skies, a cool summer breeze, and the smell of toasted marshmallows abound.

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