Concerts offer sounds of summer

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian Features News Coordinator



o Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000 or

o Cascade Tickets, 855-227-8499 or

o TicketsWest, 800-992-8499 or

o Rose Quarter, 855-227-8499 or

o Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000 or

o Cascade Tickets, 855-227-8499 or

o TicketsWest, 800-992-8499 or

o Rose Quarter, 855-227-8499 or

With a little luck and planning, Clark County music fans can soak up sunshine and summer tunes this season. From rock concerts in the rolling hills near the fairgrounds and simmering jazz in downtown to adventuring across the river for something new, this summer’s concert season will be a playlist worthy of any vacation. We’ve rounded up more than a few concerts and festivals to catch your ear.

Music festivals

Start your summer concert season with a bite of blues at the 25th annual Waterfront Blues Festival from July 4-8 in Portland. It’s one of the largest blues festivals west of the Mississippi River, and it’s the Oregon Food Bank’s largest fundraiser. Admission to see great blues players is only $10, with two cans of food. Festival passes are also available, offering early entry and on-stage seating. Of the 150 performances, highlights include the Steve Miller Band, Roy Rogers & Delta Rhythm Kings, James Cotton, Bettye Lavette and Booker T. Jones.

Other music festivals to gear up for:

• The Pickathon Indie Roots Music Festival featuring Neko Case and Blitzen Trapper, from Aug. 3-5 at the Pendarvis Farm, S.E. Hagen Road, Happy Valley, Ore. Festival passes are $190 at

• Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, New Found Glory, and Yellowcard will be headlining The Vans Warp Tour on Aug. 5 at Rose Quarter Riverfront, 1183 N. Thunderbird Way, Portland. Tickets are $31.50 through Cascade Tickets.

• The annual Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival returns Aug. 24-26 at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, with tickets ranging from $20-$60 at

• The growing MusicFestNW will showcase Silversun Pickups, Passion Pit and Beirut at various venues, including Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. Tickets are $15-$250 through Cascade Tickets

• The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival brings a hard-rock mentality on Sept. 23 to the Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield. The festival will feature Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach and others on two stages. Tickets are $27-$90.90 through Ticketmaster.

Big names, big stages

Music fans of all stripes and genres will find something to swoon over as a variety of big acts bring their tours to the Northwest. And no matter who you are, you’ve probably found yourself humming along to a catchy Kelly Clarkson song on the radio. Co-touring with piano rock group The Fray, they will be delighting fans on July 21 at the Sleep Country Amphitheater. The Clark County concert will be the first of their summer tour. Tickets are $30.60-$105.25 through Ticketmaster.

What’s a summer without a little fun. music? Rock band fun., based in New York City, has been making waves with their radio anthem “We Are Young.” The band will perform Aug. 24 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway Ave, Portland. Tickets are $32.95 through Ticketmaster.

More concerts you won’t want to miss:

• Indie rockers the Dirty Projectors team up with folk duo Wye Oak for a July 25 concert at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom. Tickets are $20 through Cascade Tickets.

• Country singer-songwriter Sara Evans will perform at the Clark County Fair on Aug. 3 at the Sleep Country Amphitheater. Tickets are $27.40-$54.20 through Ticketmaster.

• Scottish band Franz Ferdinand returns on Aug. 10 to the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., Portland. Tickets are $29-$32 through TicketFly. Call 503-284-8686 or visit

• On Aug. 8, singer-songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor performs songs from her newest album, “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats,” at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets are $36.55-$58.35 through Ticketmaster.

• Jack White brings his solo act to the Theater of the Clouds on Aug. 15 at the Rose Quarter, 1 N. Center Court St., Portland. Tickets are $34-$65 through the Rose Quarter.

• Electronic sound designer Amon Tobin, who made a big splash at the Coachella Festival, will perform on Sept. 2 at the Roseland Theater, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., Portland. Tickets are $30 through TicketsWest.

• Get the song “Somebody That I Used to Know” stuck in your head at the performance by Gotye on Sept. 2 at McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 S.W. Halsey St., Troutdale, Ore. Tickets are $49.50 through Cascade Tickets.

• Be sure to check out the ongoing summer concert series at the Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland. Performers include Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on July 19, Buddy Guy on Aug. 17, Roseanne Cash on Aug. 26 and Chicago on Sept. 14. Tickets are $25-$70; call 503-226-1561 or visit

• For fans of the classics, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band consists of rotating musicians led by Ringo Starr. He’ll perform his solo and Beatles tunes, with other band members performing hits from their own careers. Catch the All-Starr Band on July 15 at McMenamins Edgefield. Tickets are $53-$93 through Cascade Tickets.

• Keep the nostalgia going with Blondie and Devo at Sleep Country Amphitheater on Sept. 8. Tickets are $37.70-$76.55 through Ticketmaster.

• Folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash will perform Sept. 12 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $50.10-$93.15 through Ticketmaster.

• Promoting his second solo album, Slash will perform on July 12 at the Roseland Theater. Tickets are $35-$45 for those 21 and older through TicketsWest.

• On Aug. 19, arena rock bands KISS and Mötley Crüe will co-headline the Sleep Country Amphitheater. Tickets are $39.75-$176.05. 800-745-3000 or

• Alternative rockers Jane’s Addiction will play Sept. 4 at the Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay St., Portland. Tickets are $46.50-$63 through Ticketmaster.

• Thrash-metal icons Anthrax will thrill fans Sept. 15 at the Roseland Theater. Tickets are $25-$40 through TicketsWest.

Smaller venues

Great summer music is not contained to just concert halls. Smaller and more unusual venues offer concerts that could only happen in the carefree time of summer.

If the idea of a cello ensemble playing a cover of Kanye West sounds like your idea of a perfect mash-up, meet the Portland Cello Project. Since 2007, the group has tackled classical compositions to entire Pantera albums, with a performance repertoire of over 800 pieces of music. They will be conducting a two night “Extreme Cello Dance Party” on July 20 and 21 at the Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., Portland. Tickets are $13-$15 for those 21 and older through TicketFly; call 503-231-9663 or visit

The Oregon Symphony will also perform its show-stopping Waterfront Concert. The all-ages festivities will open the symphony’s performance season. The free concert includes a performance by the Portland Youth Philharmonic and a grand finale fireworks show set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Be sure to bring your own blankets and chairs to the Aug. 30 concert at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 Naito Parkway, Portland. Visit

• The Riverview Six to Sunset concerts will be celebrating 26 years of music in the park with performances by tribute bands Abbey Road, Stone in Love and Petty Fever, along with crowd favorites Hit Machine, Patrick Lamb and the Radical Revolution. The free concerts take place from 6-8 p.m. every Thursday from July 5 to Aug. 9 in Esther Short Park, 301 W. Eighth St., Vancouver.

• Nestled along the Columbia Gorge, the Maryhill Winery & Amphitheater, 9774 Washington Highway 14, offers a strong list of summer concerts well worth the drive to Goldendale. On Aug. 5, catch bluegrass-country group Alison Krauss and Union Station. Krauss has helped revitalize bluegrass music in the United States with a record 27 Grammy Awards to her name. Also playing at Maryhill will be Earth, Wind & Fire on July 21, Chris Isaak and Shawn Colvin on July 28 and Huey Lewis & the News on Sept. 15. Tickets are $45-$150, 888-695-0888 or

• On the closer-to-home end of the spectrum, the Bethany Vineyard and Winery, 4115 N.E. 259th Street, Ridgefield, hosts its Music in the Vines series featuring country duo Cloverdayle on July 8, Patrick Lamb on July 29 and Lisa Mann on Aug. 26. Tickets are $10-$12, visit

• For more music in the flowers, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 N.W. Everett St., Portland, offers an intimate musical treat with their Tuesday by Twilight concert series, beginning July 10 through Aug. 7. Performers include Y La Bamba, Curtis Salgado, guitarist Stephane Wrembel and bluegrass-jazz mix Mia Nicholson’s Torch & Twang. Tickets are $24, call 503-228-8131 or visit

For the younger fans

Since concerts aren’t just for adults, here are some options for the younger music fans looking for a memorable summer.

• The Terry Lee Noon Concerts start Wednesday July 11 and run for six consecutive weeks in Esther Short Park. These free concerts feature children’s activities and run from noon to 1 p.m. Call 360-487-8630 or visit

• The Wiggles, an Australian children’s music group, celebrate 21 years of entertainment, with three of the original Wiggles giving their final performances. They will perform on July 20 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. Tickets are $23-$91.65 through Ticketmaster.

• Though the Justin Bieber concert is already sold out, pop fans will be happy to know they can still see Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson on Sept. 18 at the Rose Garden. Tickets are $25-$65 through the Rose Quarter.

• And for older teens, be sure to check out PDX Pop Now! This free, all ages music festival celebrates 50 of the finest local acts that best represent the Portland music scene from July 20-22 at the Refuge PDX, 116 S.E. Yamhill St., Portland. Visit