On the eve of a new year, we thought it would be fun to get in on the “year-in-review” things that many people/publications/media-outlets do. And…we’ve got quite a year to look back on. Here’s a retrospective look at our 2011
04.01 – FROM ASHES RISE / NUX VOMICA / TRAUMA
This line-up was so ridiculous that some people on message boards had concluded that our listing was an “April fools” joke…it wasn’t, and the show went down with hundreds of people cramming into our humble venue-area to catch a glimpse of Portland’s finest d-beat crushers.
06.10 – BASEMENT ANIMAL / VILE GASH (OH) / NUKKEHAMMER (OH) / SOCIETY NURSE (WA)
Rarely are we able to accommodate a slew of touring-acts that can hold their own with minimal local-support. But when you’ve got the nastiest sonic-pummeling from crew of Ohioans, and a venerable/touted neighbor from the north, support becomes less of an issue! Not to mention what would be the final assault from Portland’s very own grind-punks, Basement Animal.
06.18 – SLOWMOTIONS (JP) / CRAZY SPIRIT (NY) / ORIGIN OF M (JP)
June was the month of unbelievable touring acts gracing our stage. En route from the Chaos in Tejas festival, we landed some of Japan’s most entertaining punk-bands as well as the darlings of NYC’s current punk-scene. Folks came out in droves and partied the night away to killer tunes brought from thousands of miles away!
07.17 – THE CYSTS / DRUNK DAD / DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER
The final show for the vastly under-appreciated band, The Cysts. Turn-out exceeded what had been expected and made for a highly-supportive farewell for a band deserving of the honor. People were moving/thrashing around/heckling harder than I’ve seen in our venue…ever! It ruled, and concluded with The Cysts refusing to play an encore, to which a rowdy fan shouted, “fuck your dignity,” and got everyone (including the band) laughing.
07.21 – UNNATURAL HELPERS (WA) / TENSIONS / FREEDOM CLUB
Unheralded for far too long, Dean Whitmore (the genius/writer behind Unnatural Helpers), has struck gold with this band. With a fathomless batch of catchy garage rock&roll tunes at his disposal, he had a packed room of admirers tapping their toes and bopping along. A true display of song-craft by one of the best in the business, and a memorable night for everyone who was there.
08.06 – PIERCED ARROWS / DIVERS / RAIDER
Untiring Portland veterans/legends, Fred and Toody Cole (of Dead Moon and The Rats), have been rocking for over 25 years. This, however, marked their first/long-overdue appearance at The Know, and will not soon be forgotten. Sweltering August temperatures, and a packed house, made for one of the sweatiest nights in our venue for performers and audience alike. Unflappable during their flawless performance, Toody later divulged that she had nearly fainted from heat/exhaustion during their set…‘nough said!
08.28 – ORGANIZED SPORTS / VACANT STATE (CAN) / BI-MARKS
Canada lent us one of their toughest-sounding/finest “throw-back” hardcore acts for a weekend, and in turn we provided them with the best hc-support acts that PDX has to offer. Both Organized Sports and Bi-Marks are un-fuck-with-able, and are at the forefront of a youthful/“new crop” of hardcore bands in town. The energy at this show was through-the-roof!
09.11 – STEVE LAKE (UK) / VIVID SECT / ATROCITY EXHIBITION
“Aging gracefully” doesn’t really describe it…Steve Lake graced our stage with such-little-pretense/such enthusiasm that it was hard to put-into-perspective the influence he’s had on punk rock since creating quintessential songs with his 80’s UK band Zounds. A living-legend and inspiration to many-a-band currently, it was rad to hear a room full of admirers singing-along to his righteous soundtrack.
09.22 – KICKER (CA) / STONEBURNER / DEATH MACHINE
One of the most diverse, and resultantly awesome, shows I can remember. It was one of those nights where you wonder how the next band can possibly build on the prior bands’ momentum…then they do it somehow, and everyone is flipping-the-fuck-out! Having only heard some tracks online from Kicker (and having an idea of their pedigree: ex-Filth/Neurosis/Dystopia), I was still unprepared for how bad-ass they were gunna be. They had stage-presence and energy that isn’t normally seen in “aging-punk veterans,” and got the whole room moving/psyched!
10.07 – DEAF WISH (OZ) / SAD HORSE / EIGER SANCTION
Deaf Wish (in addition to having one of the best band names I can think of) played some of the most exciting music that our stage has seen. They did it by mixing technical/compositional savvy with a rawness that is seldom able to be delivered simultaneously. Think Husker Du and Sonic Youth at their best…literally inducing goose-bumps as their music swelled between interludes of tonal-feedback. They were having a blast and engaging our audience, which was the icing-on-the-cake (for us and them). They made certain to communicate that their stop at The Know had been a “true reward” on an apparently tumultuous/otherwise-disappointing tour.
thanks for reading.