Wednesday night brought a fun duo to The Portland Playlist, “When We Met‘s,” Bryan Casey and Melissa Dorres. A chance meeting at a James concert led to bonding over music and a mutual love of Ween. Live music is “near to their hearts as a way to connect with others, build community, inspire, and have fun. Playing live is just as important to them as creating the music.” To that end, they recorded their first, self-titled EP before they ever played a live show, wanting to hone their sound, record it, and only then build their audience with live performances.
Blending alternative, indie, electro pop, and blues rock with haunting melodies and introspective lyrics, When We Met delivers an energetic and engaging live performance that is a truly unique experience every time. It’s a touch of earth, water, fire, and wind blended with cosmic storms and spatial frequencies. Making music to dance to, sing to, love to, rock and trip out to, it could be the soundtrack of your soul.
The first hour was spent listening to their music influences which included; the aforementioned Ween, The Kills, Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pavement, Pinback, and The Knife. When friends introduced them to the Pixies (Melissa), and Nirvana (Bryan), they were blown away and played the music over and over. Both Bryan and Melissa spend a significant amount of time studying sounds they like in other music for ways to incorporate it into their band, yet make it their own. They are particularly drawn to successful duos, lead female roles, and clever vocal arrangements.
Moving into the second hour focused on the band’s original material from the EP, plus their 2015 release, “Live at Kelly’s Olympian.” Bryan and Melissa also performed five songs in a live performance that was their first time playing more acoustically. The songs sounded wonderful this way and they hope to incorporate this style into their live stage performances. They performed the new, “Cat’s Out of the Bag,” that had a nice guitar intro and thoughtful lyrics, thoughtless words take up more space than air. “Hide and Seek” speaks for emotions we may all relate to, soon I’ll be falling apart again. They are particularly proud of “But What Do I Know.” Not only is it a fantastic song, it is the first one they wrote together.
When they are not making music, Bryan is in sales at Mystery Gallery and Melissa is a Hairdresser. In their spare time, they craft a line of necklaces and earrings. In trying to process the horrors of the recent Pulse Shooting in Orlando, they searched for a way to do something to help. For the month of June, they are donating 50% of all online jewelry sales to the Support Victims of Pulse Shooting by Equality Florida GoFundMe.
Spending an evening with Bryan and Melissa, one quickly discovers the amount of dedication they have for their music. As a fairly new band, they take care to study, observe, and practice to ensure they deliver a product to be proud of. Not only do they work on perfecting their artistic talents, they also ensure that their business side is equally attended to. They stay current in all their social media accounts, and make it a point to remain interactive with their fans. You might say they are “hungry” to put their best selves out there, and it is something they do well. They are already conceiving ideas for the next album, and have many songs waiting to be heard. It is an album we look forward to hearing, from a band we are delighted to have met!
When We Met will celebrate their second anniversary at a special, all-ages show hosted by Radio Hot Tub and Portland Notes, on July 2nd at Analog Cafe & Theater. For more details and band lineup, visit their Facebook event.
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