The Echoplex warmly greeted Thao and the Get Down Stay Down along with openers David Shultz and The Portland Cello Project Friday night. Thao Nguyen (vocals, guitar) along with band mates Adam Thompson (bass guitar) and Willis Thompson (drums) blew the eager audience away with stunning, high energy performances of their past hits and new tracks from their upcoming album Know Better Learn Faster – set to release next year. The Portland Cello Project and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down have teamed up to perform and cover songs together while on tour. Both bands feature each other in albums and tracks-a match made in musical heaven.
Although we missed David Shultz’s performance, we made it just in time for the Portland Cello Project. This unlikely foursome performed a mix of classical, modern and cover songs that gave a fresh breath of air in the dark bar setting. The only disadvantage of their performance was the loud crowd that sometimes overpowered the cellos. Although they would probably be much better off in a quiet setting for a richer sound, it was still a fun twist to the overall amazing night. It was apparent that they gained a good number of new fans that night from the crowd that gathered closely to the stage and cheered them on. The cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” was beautifully done and a very enjoyable listen. There was the familiar sound of the chorus along with their own spin that turned the popular pop song into something elegant and all their own. If you are a fan of classical music but also have an ear for more modern sounds, The Portland Cello Project is a must listen.
The headliners Thao and the Get Down Stay Down definitely did not disappoint. Their usual easy folk/indie sound was blown into a high energy performance that was truly a pleasant surprise. It was apparent how much they enjoy performing their music for their fans. Although some of Thao’s older hits were not performed, they rocked out with some new tracks that became instant hits with the crowd. The most important element to any live show is the interaction between the band and audience, and there was plenty of it from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. They encouraged fans to stomp their feet, clap their hands, and bang their heads all night. Not only is their music catchy and awesome to listen to any time, the lyrics are clever and well written. Thao even shows her beat-boxing skills in the song “Hammers,” a favorite of their listeners and a fun song to sing along to.
Overall, it was a surprisingly fresh, energetic, and great night at the Echoplex. If you are a fan of indie/acoustic music, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down is a must listen. They are currently touring all over America through November so hurry and check them out. Trust us-you will not be disappointed with their performance!