Every year, Portland’s alternative rock station 94.7 KNRK puts on “December to Remember,” a week-long music festival that takes place in some of Portland’s biggest music venues. You can pretty much guarantee a killer lineup filled with bands that are dominating mainstream and alternative radio stations. This year the lineup included The Killers, The Shins, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, M83, Passion Pit, FUN…and the list goes on. See what I mean by killer lineup?
The 2012 edition of December to Remember was bigger and better than ever, stretching from December 2-10, with seven shows at the Crystal Ballroom, one show at the Roseland Theater, and one show at the Rose Garden. I was lucky enough to see two of the shows this year (almost all sold out in less than one day). Both shows I saw were at the Crystal Ballroom, a McMenamins property. If you’ve never experienced the Crystal Ballroom, it should be on your Oregon bucket list.
The Crystal Ballroom is a wonderful space; spacious and beautifully decorated, featuring paintings by local artists. I should also mention that the Crystal Ballroom has a unique floor called a “floating dance floor” or “spring floor.” The Crystal Ballroom’s spring floor is made of woven wooden battens so when people start to jump up and down you feel as if you’re on a trampoline with everyone in the room. It’s quite the surreal concert experience!
While McMenamins does bring in nationally renowned bands to play at the Crystal Ballroom, they also hire a number of regional and local musicians to play at their brew pubs, which are liberally scattered throughout western Oregon and Washington (if you’re traveling through the state, you will most likely cross paths with a McMenamins property). Some of my very favorite properties include Edgefield (where they have summer concerts on the lawn), The Kennedy School and Old St. Francis School.
Even if you missed this year’s December to Remember, don’t fret because you will have many more live music opportunities in Oregon throughout the year. Thanks to 94.7, The Crystal Ballroom and Portland’s amazing music scene, I certainly did have a December to remember.