Walking through the doors of the Hawthorne Theatre, I was excited to see what the evening had in store for me. I had been given tickets to attend a concert that opened with contemporary musician Brakence, and whose main attraction was hip-hop/rap artist Aries. Though I had never listened to his music before, I had friends who had and was excited to possibly become a new fan of both of these artists.
As a new Portlander, this was the first concert I had attended since moving to Portland in August. I was greatly impressed by the experience I had and appreciated the opportunity to attend such a fun event. The crowd was filled with both locals and even some who traveled as far as 7 hours to come to Aries’ concert, showing their love for the artist. The concert consisted of multiple mosh pits, mist being sprayed into the crowd, Aries conversing with his audience members, along with a full setlist, which created a memorable experience for all concertgoers.
The venue was a perfect size, feeling intimate enough to be close to both the fans and the artists, but not so small as to feel suffocated. From the Hawthorne Theatre website: “The present-day Hawthorne Theatre is one of the few places left in an ever-changing Portland to see all-ages shows, and hosts everything from metal shows to dance nights, from comedians to art shows, and everything in between. The size of the Theatre is a big draw for up-and-coming acts on the edge of breaking out, as well as legacy acts that enjoy playing a more intimate venue for die-hard fans. The interior of the Theatre holds a large stage, an underage section toward the front and a 21+ section in the back with a bar, and a large balcony that provides excellent views of the stage.”
It is obvious that Hawthorne Theatre is a staple of Portland, calling both local and visiting artists to its stage. Aries’ stage presence was something to appreciate as well. He talked to his fans as if they were his own friends, and got excited when they sang his songs along with him. For someone with a platform of his size, having over 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, it was refreshing to see an artist with such a connection with his fans.
I strongly urge readers to take advantage of Portland’s local art scene. As a college student, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily routine of classes and being on campus, but it is refreshing to be able to escape the college bubble for a new experience. There are so many events occurring all the time just waiting for you to go and see them.
Photos by Stephen Jacquot.