Passion Pit
  • Passion Pit at the Crystal Ballroom

Girl Talk
  • Girl Talk addresses his people at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Acknowledging that it might have been possible to piece together an equivalent string of nights of shows without leaving Seattle, Musicfest Northwest, which just rounded out its twelfth year, remains my favorite excuse for running away to Portland's brunch village for a long lazy weekend of musical treasure hunting. Aside from the appeal of skipping town with friends to make use of the shabby chic Ace Hotel as napping waystation (my continued fondness for the place makes it a strong candidate for someday becoming my own personal Hotel Chevelier), the ability of a single magic wristband to link hundreds of exciting bands and venues together into a music festival makes the whole endeavor even more magical. That MFNW continues to reach far and wide for national-caliber bookings (when it feels like others are scaling back) to put on one of the country's larger indoor music festivals at the same time as the city's also hosting a tech conference, entirely different time-based performing arts event and welcoming a massive swift migration without any of it feeling hectic is deeply impressive.

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