Live Review: Shadowhouse – Lone Fir Cemetery, Portland, OR, 30.10.2021

Saturday, the day before Halloween, was a busy day at the Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland, OR. Blessed with an unusually sunny and mild afternoon the cemetery was abuzz with activity. Families were having picnics, young couples were walking hand in hand, photographers were shooting models curled around headstones, and a post-punk band was playing a concert. Shadowhouse, the long running Portland, OR Post-Punk band celebrated the digital release of their upcoming album with a live set in the cemetery.

Now in their ninth year as a band, Shadowhouse, are releasing their second album on Icy Cold Records out of France. The new album is entitled Forsaken and Forgotten. Since releasing their first album Hand in Hand during 2014, Shadowhouse have release several singles most recently, A Year Today during 2020. Continuing in the punk traditional of having shows in unconventional venues, Shadowhouse chose the cemetery.

In spirit of DIY generator-shows common in the Southwest US during 1980’s, Shadowhouse rolled into the cemetery in a couple of vehicles and set up their equipment by a portable generator. The McLeay family mausoleum in the center to the cemetery provided a moody backdrop for their set. One person near me asked another person, ‘how’d they get permission to do this?’ The reply, was ‘I don’t think they did’, enough said.

Shadowhouse started playing around 5 o’clock after an eager crowd gathered. The faithful and curious alike stopped to listen. Judging by the number that stayed to watch the whole set, they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Relaxed and clearly enjoying themselves, Shadowhouse ran through a set composed largely of older material.

Highlights of the set included the singles Conformity and A Year Today. It sounded as if they played one or two off the new album as well. The new songs as well as the old favorites sounded a little better today. Whether the excitement to be playing again finally, or the feeling you get from doing something that you shouldn’t be I cannot say. Either way the band sounded tight and spirited.

Shadowhouse’s songs have a big sprawling sound which worked wonderfully in this space. Playing on a rise somewhat above most of the cemetery, the waves of sound washed over the cemetery enticing the curious to come see what was happening. Though standing apart, as one does in covid-times, the crowd enjoyed themselves. At the end of their set, Shadowhouse were met with a hearty round of applause and congratulations. Hopefully with the world opening again and a new album on the horizon, Shadowhouse will treat us to another set again in the near future.

Shadowhouse’s new album Forsaken and Forgotten is available now digitally via the band’s bandcamp page. Pre-orders for physical copies, LP and CD, start November 5, 2021 via Icy Cold Records.

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