Best Things To Do

The Best Things To Do in Portland This Week: Sept 27-Oct 3, 2021

Pickathon & Topaz Farm Harvest Festival, Japanese Breakfast, Jesus Christ Superstar, and More
September 27, 2021
A mini lineup will perform at the Pickathon & Topaz Farm Harvest Festival beneath the farm's massive oak tree. (Topaz Farm)

This week brings some big arts happenings, including the inaugural Pickathon & Topaz Farm Harvest Festival, the 26th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and the final performances of Jesus Christ Superstar. Whatever strikes your fancy and whatever you're comfortable with (indoor, outdoor, or virtual), we've got all the best things to do this week in one convenient roundup.

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Blue Cranes + Edna Vazquez
A Portland staple, the Blue Cranes are known for their unique jazz sound and will be doing their first public performance since last year's Portland Jazz Festival. The equally powerful Edna Vazquez will open the show.
The Lot at Zidell Yards, South Waterfront



Content Creator Mixer
Pitch your story to BIPOC business directory and storytelling platform Mercatus, who is funding one project quarterly this year, or simply connect with other BIPOC writers, photogs, graphic designers, videographers, and other creatives. 
Jupiter NEXT, Buckman Neighborhood


My Morning Jacket with Durand Jones & the Indications
Already eight albums deep, the Kentucky band My Morning Jacket is set to release an eponymous album this year. With a sound rooted in rock and country that often dips into experimentation with subgenres like Americana and art rock, frontman Jim James’s voice always commands the stage.
McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale

Ratboys & Wild Pink
The Chicago indie rock band Ratboys is making their way across the country with their album, fittingly titled Happy Birthday, Ratboy, which features songs new and old all in celebration of a decade of the band being together. NYC’s Wild Pink is another indie rock outfit, touring with their third album, A Billion Little Lights, and an EP of six cover songs from Bruce Springsteen to Taylor Swift.
Mississippi Studios, Boise

Japanese Breakfast with Luna Li
Eugene-bred singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner will be performing from her latest album, Jubilee, under her indie-pop moniker Japanese Breakfast. Rich Smith says in The Stranger that it’s the perfect medium for wallowing in nostalgia for "old, mismanaged love affairs" in a "search for happiness in dark clouds of sax-inflected synth."
Crystal Ballroom, West End



Rock band Ballyhoo! is known for having a very particular type of rock and reggae sound that's infused with their pop/punk energy. They'll be taking that to the stage with Tunnel Vision and special guest Pacific Vibe.  
Stage 722, Buckman

The sublime trio Caamp are a folk band from Ohio whose work has resonated across the country. In particular, the song Vagabond has taken hold as a taste of the band's intimate approach to their music. With live shows described as being all about creating "transcendent, communal experiences," their music is best felt in-person.
Crystal Ballroom, West End



Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Welcome Back Reception
Deep dive into textiles while viewing the exhibit Louise Bourgeois: What is the Shape of This Problem, and checking out weaving demos and student performances. PSU’s textile arts program is also giving visitors the opportunity to weave collective cloths with BYO yarn, fabric, and clothing, which will be incorporated into one of three loom structures.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU, South Park Blocks


The Oregon-based sisters and bandmates have avoided the sophomore slump with their second album, Good Luck, Kids, a collection of songs highlighting the band's signature storytelling and emotional complexity. They'll close out the inaugural season of shows at the Lot at Zidell Yards, along with Ural Thomas & the Pain.
The Lot at Zidell Yards, South Waterfront

Ryan Caraveo - The Northend Sweetheart Tour
The PNW singer is bringing his unique vocal stylings from Seattle to Portland as part of his Northend Sweetheart Tour. Caraveo has been performing since middle school, opening for local rappers and growing his career into being a mishmash of hip-hop, electronic, as well as alternative genres.
Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne



Trippie Redd: Tripp At Knight Tour
The talented and unrelenting rapper Trippie Redd gained mainstream acclaim after exploding on SoundCloud. Becoming famous as part of a new generation of artists, he is now taking his rapping from the interwebs to the stage. 
Theater of the Clouds, Lloyd District

sadeyes, 93FEETOFSMOKE, fats’e, Koi, lil xtra, supachefm, polearm, and Daystowaste
With a stacked lineup all backing up the Portland singer/writer/producer sadeyes, there is a lot to love at this show. The music of sadeyes is entrancing, combining different aspects of lo-fi, alternative, emo rap, and hyperpop with a confessional storytelling that is inescapable. 
Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne



¡El Carnaval del Barrio!
Portland Mercado's “El Carnaval del Barrio,” or neighborhood carnival, will feature a night of music and dance performances, food, vendors, and community. Ten percent of the night's sales will benefit the Latino Student Union at David Douglas High School, which has one of the state's most diverse student bodies. 
Portland Mercado, Mt. Scott-Arleta

Portland Seltzerland 2021
Guzzle all the boozy bubbly water your heart desires at this hard seltzer "immersive experience" featuring over 100 different hard seltzers, plus food, swag, music, games, and photo opportunities.
Colwood Golf Course, Cully


Hood River Hops Fest
The Pacific Northwest produces over 96% of the hops in the United States, with over 14% coming from Oregon, and Hood River County is in close proximity to many renowned hop-growing regions. This family-friendly festival will celebrate the hop harvest with over 40 fresh-hop beers from more than 30 breweries, as well as vendors, live music, and collectible mugs.
Columbia Lot, Hood River


Rocky Horror Picture Show
Come see the long-awaited return of Portland's longest-running screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show! Tickets will be capped at 50 people, so there probably won't be as much audience participation as your standard show, but you should still absolutely dust off your fishnets and bustiers.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy


Savage Love From A to Z
If you can't get enough of Dan Savage's Savage Love column, you're in luck! Here's your opportunity to see Dan Savage LIVE and get a complimentary copy of his new illustrated, adults-only book, Savage Love from A to Z. He'll be reading from, discussing, and signing this new illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays, written "for anyone who's had sex, is currently having sex, or hopes to have sex."
Mississippi Studios, Boise


Special Purpose
Known for using a variety of instruments like vintage keyboards and lead guitar, local band Special Purpose has "psychedelic sounds with earthy elements of funk and jazz."
Tomorrow's Verse Taproom, Beaumont-Wilshire

The Skatalites w/ special guest The Bandulus
Having just celebrated their 55th anniversary, The Skatalites have played on hundreds of recording sessions for some of the biggest artists of all time from Bob Marley to Jimmy Cliff. . Now they are back and doing their own show after an extended hiatus.
Jack London Revue, Downtown



Kings of Leon: When You See Yourself Tour
Head up I-5 to catch the Nashville-formed rock band Kings of Leon, composed of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill with their cousin Matthew Followill. From their biggest hits like "Use Somebody" to classics like "Pyro," this band has been going for more than a decade and shows no signs of stopping. 
RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield



Beaverton Restaurant Week
Try menu items created exclusively for Beaverton Restaurant Week at an array of restaurants across Beaverton, including 1st Street Pocha, Bistro Royale, and Hapa Pizza. A select number of restaurants will also offer a 10% discount for frontline workers (including first responders, teachers, grocery and service workers, and medical workers). Diners are encouraged to snap photos at participating restaurants and food carts and enter the event’s daily Instagram giveaway.
Beaverton (Monday-Sunday)

PDX Fresh Hop Festival
The Portland Mercury's Ned Lannaman wrote in 2019, "It’s hop-harvesting season, and that means literal tons of fresh hops are making their way to your beer. The annual Fresh Hops Beer Festival will feature more than 50 fresh hop beers made by Oregon brewers, and they’re only available during this magical season (at other times of year, beer’s made with preserved or dried hops). You live in one of the only parts of the world that can get fresh-hop beer (they can’t travel very far), so don’t miss out!" This year's festivities, which will be hosted outdoors and be split into multiple sessions with a limited amount of attendees for COVID safety, will also include food offerings from Von Ebert Brewing.
Glendoveer Golf Course, Hazelwood (Friday-Saturday)

Zuckercreme Presents: Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice
Inspired by fall's most ubiquitous flavor, this autumnal pop-up from Zuckercreme will feature a bakery, cafe, community markets, workshops, cozy home goods, clothes, accessories, vintage wares, and art.
Zuckercreme, Montavilla (Friday-Sunday)

Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest
This annual fresh hop extravaganza returns for its sixth year with 10 food trucks, 10 rotating taps, and special tappings almost every day highlighting local breweries and regions. Each day will feature different rare and seasonal beers.
Prost! Marketplace, Mississippi (Friday-Sunday)


Pickathon & Topaz Farm Harvest Festival
Topaz Farm will provide a lovely backdrop for Pickathon's alternative to their regular festival featuring Afrobeat band Antibalas, guitarist Ripley Johnson aka Rose City Band, acclaimed singer-songwriter Bill Callahan, and the folksy Bedouine.
Topaz Farm, Sauvie Island

Lucy Dacus
Fresh off the release of her third album, Home Video—a musical “interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, Virginia.”— singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus will headline this show that will also feature D.C.-based producer and songwriter Bartees Strange.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Thursday-Friday)


26th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
The new and improved H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival will have options for a fully vaxxed/tested/masked in-person show or a streamed show that you can watch from home. The cosmic horror fest will feature several shorts blocks with filmmaker Q&As plus a special 10th anniversary presentation of The Whisper in Darkness with some fine folks from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and more.
Hollywood Theatre and Virtual (Friday-Sunday)


Sewing Trees
In this exhibit from Michelle Purvis and fiber artist Kim Tepe, Tepe stitches silhouettes together to create vast landscapes, and Purvis uses acrylic paint and thread to focus on our relationship with the environment. During Continuing the Conversation, four local artists look back over the last year and reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement as well as confronting racial injustice more broadly.
Alberta Street Gallery, Concordia (Thursday-Saturday; opening)


Portland Night Market
Browse over 75 Portland vendors at this after-hours market in a hip warehouse with an outdoor bar and food trucks. The fall edition of this quarterly event brings live pumpkin carving, an appearance by Caesar the No Drama Llama, and flash tats from INKBUS mobile tattoo studio.
100 SE Alder, Central Eastside (Friday-Saturday)


Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival
If quarantine had you asking "what is time?" within the last year, then perhaps PICA's cutting edge annual contemporary art festival can answer that question. Expand your mind by taking in experimental art by local and international artists ranging from ephemeral performance pieces to print projects to artist lectures.
PICA and Virtual (Friday-Sunday)


Jesus Christ Superstar
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, often regarded as his best musical, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The rock opera depicts the last week of Jesus's life as seen through the eyes of Judas. This traveling Broadway production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. 
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Friday-Sunday)