Having seemingly spent the past year in hiding, Blitzen Trapper debuted their concert event “Wild and Reckless” to the public Friday, March 24. Blitzen Trapper’s folky rock songs carried the audience to a different place in time, as expected. The band’s five members along with two Portland-native actors took stage in front of a sci-fi-like set. Rods hung from the ceiling and connected to light-pole props to represent lightning strikes.
The story began with lead singer and narrator Eric Earley playing a folky tune about a boy living in the hillside in Oregon. His character has decided to play music for a living in a futuristic Portland where scientists have harvested lightning to power the city. When lightning strikes hit the power poles, Earley and guitarist Erik Menteer blasted their electric guitars. In this world, the Portland locals have learned to harvest a new drug from the power source and are struggling with addiction.
Each member of the band had a character role in “Wild and Reckless.” Earley’s character fell for a local girl at the nightclub Satyricon, a Portland reference the crowd enjoyed. References to different shops and areas of Portland popped up throughout the musical.
Actress Laura Carbonell played Earley’s newfound love interest and was a terrific musician. The story developed into her addiction issues, and Earley’s inability to help her. Perhaps the best part of the story was their inability to assign blame for addiction to any single character. While set in a fictional time, the story touched on themes that were relevant to real issues our city faces today.
“Wild and Reckless” was captivating, thought provoking, a must-see for the local music community. It plays at Portland Center Stage at The Armory until April 30. Learn more and get tickets here. And, for a $10 discount, remember to use the promo code 99.1!
(Photos credit Patrick Weishampel/blankeye.tv)