Portland’s Jared Mees and the Grown Children are every bit as exuberant as their moniker suggests. Equal parts pop and spastic rock, this five-piece has a way of leaving its audiences sweaty, winded and gleefully content. Catch them Friday at Amnesia.
I have seen Mees play anywhere from a hipster bar in their hometown to a beer hall in middle Idaho to a room full of semi-strangers here in San Francisco, and each crowd seems to react the same — with the jubilance of a bunny in a field of fresh clover.
When Mees and keyboardist Megan Spear ask the crowd to clap along, the crowd actually claps along. There are no arms folded over chests at these shows. Mees is the pied piper for a new wave of listeners and listening.
Somehow, we are removed from all judgment and we rise above our own self-consciousness. We enter the realm of the musicians and begin to enjoy listening to the music as much as they seem to enjoy playing it. This is a form of entertainment oftentimes forgotten, almost vaudevillian in format — Mees and Co. are true entertainers and the crowd quickly falls under their spell.
Aside from their obvious love of performance and performing, Mees is a veteran of the scene. Having played music for years, he formed Tender Loving Empire, a record label he put together to help artists he was interested in gain momentum and to form a business from an artists perspective as opposed to an industry perspective. Currently the home to his own band, plus super groups Finn Riggins, Typhoon, Boy Eats Drum Machine, and Loch Lomond, TLE is quickly becoming the who’s who of the indie scene in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
There is a great advantage to someone who puts as much heart into his own art as he does into the business behind the bands he represents. There is also an altruistic beauty to providing that service and this comes across both in the presentation of TLE and in the live performance of Jared Mees and the Grown Children. Don’t miss this show!
Jared Mees and the Grown Children play Friday, May 20th at Amnesia. Blisses B open, doors are at 7PM and tickets are $7 at the door.