Best Things To Do

The Top 29 Events in Portland This Week: May 30–June 4, 2023

The National, Boba Dash, and More Top Picks
May 30, 2023
The National is touring with their new album First Two Pages of Frankenstein. (The National via Facebook)
Wake up, bestie...a new batch of EverOut's top picks has dropped, with events from The National to The Cure and from Boba Dash to Garbage with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Metric.

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70mm Celebration for Memorial Day Weekend Past Event List
In celebration of the Hollywood's successful Film Forever campaign, which enabled them to purchase "legacy projection equipment" (aka two additional 70mm projectors), the cinema mainstay will screen a series of 70mm prints to drool over. Make a Memorial Day weekend of it with showings of PTA's '70s-era teen dream Boogie Nights, Kubrick's cosmic freakout 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Tobe Hooper's intergalactic vampire adventure Lifeforce. The Hollywood is currently the only film venue in Oregon with the capability to screen 70mm, which features a greater aspect ratio and higher resolution than traditional 35mm film. Don't miss this chance to see what the cinephiles are chattering about. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Tinariwen Past Event List
Tinariwen is a collective of Tuareg singers, songwriters, and musicians that hail from the Sahara Desert. With their guitar-driven, hypnotic blend of traditional Tuareg, African, and Western rock music, the group is often hailed as pioneers of "desert blues." They will return to Portland with material from their new album Amatssou, which they've described as "songs of struggle and resistance with oblique references to the recent desperate political upheavals in Mali and the increasing power of the Salafists." You won't want to miss an opening set from experimental electronic artist Saloli. AV
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)



The Cure Past Event List
Despite the back-combed hair, dark makeup, and reputation as goth’s saddest boys, the Cure’s discography has always struck me as surprisingly upbeat and optimistic with bubblegum pop hooks about being happily in love (frontman Robert Smith has been married to his mysterious muse Mary Poole for over 35 years—she’s one of my favorite internet rabbit holes!)  Sing along to ’80s favorites like “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Friday I’m In Love,” and “Lovesong” and hopefully some new material as well (they’ve been teasing a new album since last year). And, considering that band hasn’t stepped foot in the PNW since 2016 (approximately 50 years ago in COVID years), you should probably see them now. AV
(Moda Center, Lloyd District)



Blaxploitation Film Series: Cleopatra Jones (1973) Past Event List
This funky film series by Oregon Black Pioneers centers the first flicks made by Black directors and starring Black actors. In the '70s, Blaxploitation films kicked open Hollywood's doors with productions that showcased Black talent, catering to Black audiences for the first time. Cleopatra Jones (screened here in glorious 35mm) is a great example of the subgenre's proclivity for shock, excess, and feminism—the flick features a 6'2" supermodel-turned-secret agent who targets a poppy-hawking drug queenpin named "Mommy." Can we get a hell yeah? LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Portland Mercury Presents: Two Evils with Arlo & Kate—A Comedy Game Show! Past Event List
Portland Mercury Undisputed Geniuses of Comedy Arlo Weierhauser and Kate Murphy (noted Bigfoot skeptic) get straight-up diabolical in this live game show, which sees the chucklesome pair answer a series of "truly evil" questions on stage. The audience and a special guest contestant—local comedy fave Nariko Ott—will then decide which of the responses is less evil. It's kinda like a Catholic confessional, except FUN and non judgy. Okay, maybe a little judgy. You'll have to go to find out. Plus, there'll be prizes—the perfect antidote for a little moral corruption. LC
(Siren Theater, Boise)



Portland Spring Beer & Wine Fest Past Event List
After a long hiatus, the Portland Spring Beer and Wine Fest is back and better than ever. Satisfy your thirst for abundance with a myriad of craft beers, ciders, wines, spirits, and food, from vendors like Buoy Beer Co., Pono Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, Binary Brewing Co., Taqueria La Merced, Spice of Africa, Catman Cellars, Portland Cider Co., and more. DJ Bobby Brown will set the ambiance with tunes from open till close.
(Washington Monroe Park, Buckman)


Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein Performing the Music of Stranger Things Past Event List
If you didn't know already, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein are the masterminds behind the '80-inspired, synth-heavy scores of Netflix's Stranger Things. The Texas-based duo will transport you to the Upside Down for a special performance of songs from the wildly successful sci-fi show. Don't worry, there are not expected to be any demogorgons on location. AV
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)

The National Past Event List
Brooklyn-born indie rock stalwarts the National (or as Swifties know them, the co-producers of folklore and evermore) will support their first album in four years, entitled First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which features A-list pals like Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, and yes, Taylor Swift. Clash praised the album, noting its "level of fluidity and richness stitched together with the highest caliber of performance, production, and songwriting." Don't miss an opening set from the Nashville-bred indie rock project Soccer Mommy. AV
(Edgefield, Troutdale)

Tony Molina, The Softies, All Girl Summer Fun Band, and Mo Troper Past Event List
I shrieked when I saw this lineup! The Softies are one of the best, most underrated bands of the '90s. The duo consisting of Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, Gaze, Go Sailor) and Jen Sbragia started their delightfully saccharine indie pop project back in 1994 with a handful of records on Olympia's K Records and Oakland's Slumberland Records. Their debut album It's Love is pure pop perfection with gentle jangly guitars, breathy harmonies, and diary entry-esque lyrics. Trust me, I listened to a lot of twee pop as a teenager and none of it holds up for me the way that the Softies do. The pair disbanded in 2000, but luckily for us, they’re reuniting for a PNW tour with fellow twee poppers All-Girl Summer Fun Band, indie-rock artist Tony Molina, and singer-songwriter Mo Troper. AV
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt)



Boba Dash Past Event List
Let Chris Fleming's "Boba Manifesto" be your theme song as you stroll through downtown Beaverton and Portland's metro region, picking up tapioca-studded beverages from businesses like Milk + T, Sharetea, Phin Cafe, Auntea Ha, Just Tea, Mo Cha Tea House, Tamu Boba, and Tan Tan. You'll get to partake in ten four-ounce samples and receive a complimentary reusable glass boba straw and souvenir boba cup, so you can be the most stylish person at the bubble tea cafe. JB
(Various locations)


17th Annual Dolly Hoot Night Past Event List
This weekend, pour yourself a cup of ambition at the 17th annual cover night honoring treasured "backwoods Barbie" Dolly Parton. Her iconic tunes will be interpreted by a slew of local music makers, including honky-tonk ensemble Shorty and the Mustangs, country-pop outfit Western Edition Band, singer-songwriter Kingsley, and plenty more. AV
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

Garbage with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Metric Past Event List
This bill is like one of my high school iPod playlists come to life. The ’90s alt-rock heavies Garbage, fronted by perennial cool girl Shirley Manson, will play alt-rock radio staples like “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl,” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.” This will be the first stop on tour with Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (yes, they will most likely play “Wonderwall”) and indie sleaze missionaries Metric. AV
(RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield)

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Past Event List
Here's your chance to see a real-life Beatle live! Legendary drummer Ringo Starr will treat Oregonians to a well-rounded set of Beatles songs, original solo tunes, and crowd-pleasing covers. He will welcome endless amounts of peace and love, but please, for the love of god, don't give him any fan mail. AV
(Hayden Homes Amphitheater, Bend)


Sugar Town: Pride Month Kick Off Dance Party Past Event List
Your world will be bursting with rainbow-tinged revelry at this Pride month kick-off dance party helmed by mid-century soul specialist DJ Action Slacks. Move and groove to tunes, from a vintage mix of pioneering queer voices (such as the poster star Lesley Gore) to other uplifting anthems from the '50s-'70s. Don't arrive underdressed—bright, candy-colored attire is highly encouraged!
(The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton)


First Saturday Open House Past Event List
Artsy mainstay Oregon Contemporary will throw an open house on Saturday, celebrating the final exhibition by curatorial residents Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu (aka homeschool). Pop by to catch Omens of Capacity, which reflects on "omens...that were latent, unrealized, within the clash of cultures and movements of peoples,” before it closes on June 11. Visitors can also jam along to a live performance by seven-piece funk-pop youth band Jack 10 and snack on ice cream and tacos from Dairy Hill and Cocina Mexico Lindo. Make it an evening of art viewing before grabbing drinks in the quaint Kenton neighborhood—the wood-paneled Kenton Club is a mere block away. LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton)



The Crossword Show Past Event List
Crosswords are one of the most jarring ways to reckon with your own intelligence level (or, at least, your knowledge of pop culture), so Zach Sherwin, best known for his writing and performances on the Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube series, came up with a brilliant plan: force a panel of live comics to solve a crossword puzzle live on stage. Each time a comic solves a piece of the puzzle, Sherwin will use the answer as a prompt for nerdy wordplay deep dives. Expect multimedia slide presentations, pop culture trivia, and hip-hop lyrics—logophiles and pedants, sharpen your pencils, 'cuz this one's for you. LC
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)



Orcas: Our Shared Future Remind List
Those who keep up on regional wildlife news are likely already aware of a dire situation in the Puget Sound, where Southern Resident Orcas are on the brink of extinction due to pollution, vessel traffic, and a dramatic decline of their primary food source, Chinook salmon. (Unsurprisingly, humans have played a central role in the animal's critically endangered state.) The orca, aka the apex predator of all oceans and an utterly majestic creature that deserves to thrive, is the central focus of Orcas: Our Shared Future. The new exhibition of over 100 Orcinus artifacts includes life-sized replicas, fossils, original artwork from Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples, and more, offering a rare opportunity to deep-dive into the animal's complex social structures, its connections to humans, and the surprising consequences of orca captivity. LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside, Tuesday-Sunday)


Portland Rose Festival 2023 Past Event List
The city's landmark festival will return to celebrate its 115-year legacy with petals, pistils, stamens, and a slew of much-loved events that "focus on fun." This week's festivities include the twinkly nighttime Starlight Parade of illuminated floats, a rose garden contest, and weekend two of CityFair with carnival rides. (Bring your thirst to CityFair—Oregon Brewers Festival will present a "tap takeover" with featured beers and Rose Festival mugs up for grabs.) LC
(Various locations, Thursday-Sunday)


The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) Past Event List
Fuse Theatre Ensemble, a national leader in trans theater representation, will present a new meta-musical featuring characters across gender and sexuality spectrums. (Hint: if you loved American Girl or anything by local playwright Mikki Gillette, you'll dig this.) The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) offers up an "absurd vortex" of nuclear bombs, transitioning pressures, and gender dysphoria, all set to a soundtrack of original earworms. The pay-what-ya-can performance was penned by Ernie Lijoi, winner of the Portland Drammy's Best Original Music Award in 2016, so sit back and enjoy the whirlwind of gender fuckery—you're in good hands. LC
(Reed College, Eastmoreland, Thursday-Sunday; opening)

Road House: The Play Past Event List
One fateful Christmas day in the 2010s, I popped in a VHS of the '89 schlockfest Road House, and the rest was history: I was immediately awestruck by Patrick Swayze's Dalton, a peace-keeping bar bouncer with a Ph.D. whose proclivity for beating up corrupt henchmen lands him in a back alley of Trouble with a capital T. This movie's got khaki slacks, monster trucks, and lines like this. It is awesome. Road House: The Play parodies the trash classic with jaunty music and mockery added to the plot; the show debuted in 2010 to sold-out audiences and rave reviews, so head to a performance for sweaty, ass-kicking laughs courtesy of Portland's funniest (including the Merc's own Wm. Steven Humphrey). LC
(Siren Theater, Boise, Friday-Saturday)

True Story Past Event List
The final production of Artist Rep's 2022/23 season sees a grief-wracked writer navigate a weird-out ghostwriting gig: He's hired to pen the biography of a wealthy man who was acquitted of his wife's murder on a technicality. Yeah, that doesn't sound suspicious at all. Steinberg Award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis's True Story draws from classic noir detective stories to traverse the slippery terrain of "facts, biases, and perceptions." (Cue moody jazz saxophone here.) LC
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday; closing)


Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam Past Event List
Sixteen teams of slammers will compete over two days of poetry-slinging for a grand prize, which seems like it should be a real photo of Bigfoot, or a plaster footprint, or something, but it's actually money. Money is cool, too. Poets don't seem like the most competitive bunch, but the Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam begs to differ—it kicks off on June 1 with a welcome open mic at Powell's, followed by a packed weekend of slams, workshops, and themed mics (there are AAPI, Latinx, Indigenous, queer, and other options). The final slam will feature a musical opener by Ariston Vallejos of King of Wolves and a short showcase before the top four teams duke it out. LC
(Various locations, Thursday-Saturday)


Andrew Alba Past Event List
Self-taught painter and Mexican migrant worker descendant Andrew Alba will share more of his textured, larger-than-life compositions (we love Tamalitos and At the 7/11) in this solo exhibition, which spotlights pieces that borrow from neo-expressionist abstraction to think carefully about "our wildly complex sociopolitical present." Preach, Alba. For a deeper sense of his style, we recommend checking out this curious video of his staged "worker" sculptures, which were created in response to COVID-era conversations around "essential" work. ("Though many workers like myself are not deemed essential, we are still expected to leave our home every day and work for the upper class,” says Alba.) LC
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Thursday-Saturday; opening)

Between Two Points Exhibition Remind List
Housed within the Ellen Browning cohousing building, new-ish gallery space The Lobby may be easily missed—but if you're into viewing artworks ordinarily reserved for major museums, don't sleep on it. Organized by Austin-based curator Sima Familant from building owner Molly McCabe’s personal art collection, the gallery's newest exhibition, Between Two Points, includes works by prominent art stars like Carmen Herrera, Maya Lin, and Jenny Holzer. (Previously, the gallery has showcased works by David Hockney and Andy Warhol.) Drop by to view pieces that spotlight the use of line in art and its "numerous interpretations and meanings." LC
(Ellen Browning Building, Richmond, Tuesday-Saturday)

Hito Steyerl: This is the Future Past Event List
German filmmaker and futuristic thinker Hito Steyerl will bring a "vibrant, imagined garden" to the Portland Art Museum, blending short film, "video sculptures," and an augmented reality (AR) experience in This is the Future to think critically about the tangled web of global capitalism and digital advancements. LC
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, Wednesday-Sunday)

home school: Omens of Capacity Past Event List
Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu of home school will present the final exhibition of their curatorial residency at Oregon Contemporary. Omens of Capacity features Jackie Abhulimen's Hellenic-inspired contemplative space, Bridgette Hickey's floating prayer sculpture, Ariana Nuala's video on quilombo leader Malunguinho, and more to reflect on "omens of capacity that were latent, unrealized, within the clash of cultures and movements of peoples.” LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, Friday-Sunday)

Jessica Jackson Hutchins & Justine Kurland: Killer Maker Past Event List
If you're already enmeshed in the Portland art scene, you've likely heard the name "Jessica Jackson Hutchins" float around. Jackson Hutchins' tactile works transform everyday objects into art forms that are both intimately familiar and reverently heightened, and her ambitious, playful style is instantly recognizable. For Killer Maker, a "conversation with art objects," she's paired with Justine Kurland, an NYC-based artist and photographer whose motherhood-inspired series Of Woman Born depicts nude women holding babies dotting a verdant landscape. (The series, created nearly 20 years ago, feels prescient in the wake of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal.) Jackson Hutchins' bodily assemblages of ceramics, furniture, and "pulped paper growths" respond to Kurland's photographs, but offer "discordant unions." LC
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday; closing)

The Life and Art of Bue Jack Kee: From Obscurity to Acclaim Remind List
Developed in partnership with the Bue Kee family, the Hallie Ford Museum, and private collectors, The Life and Art of Bue Jack Kee: From Obscurity to Acclaim weaves the little-known tale of Bue Kee, a Portland-born Chinese American artist who studied at the Museum Art School (now known as PNCA) and whose work "captures an intimate view of Portland Chinatown and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest." Kee was awarded the school's inaugural Carey Award in 1929 and produced ceramic centerpieces for Timberline Lodge and Tongue Point Naval Air Station as part of the WPA's Federal Art Project. Dig further into Kee's uniquely Oregonian career at this exhibition, which includes "a dazzling array of watercolors, paintings, lithographs, drawings, and ceramics." LC
(Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown, Friday-Sunday)

Product Flows Past Event List
Chris Lael Larson's Product Flows brings a conundrum you're probably familiar with to the fore: that weird tension between the rush of consumerism and the guilt of engaging in the glut of capitalist marketing. (What's your guilty purchase? Mine is fancy fruits from Providore.) Larson also works as a graphic designer and self-describes his job as "feed[ing] into the system;" in this series, he alters and "rebrands" packaged goods, creating assemblages and makeshift product photography that aims to subvert the system entirely. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

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