I"m not a drinker, but I can certainly see the appeal of lubricating oneself while taking in a little late-night live music at the bar.
Or downing a nice, frosty glass of suds under a hot summer sun.
But take the live music, put it in an unnatural habitat — outside, early afternoon in June, 80-plus degrees — and it seems like a beer is almost a requirement.
Now plop that scenario into the parking lot next to Deschutes Brewery’s Bond Street pub, with Deschutes brews flowing freely, and I’m pretty sure you’re violating state and federal law if you abstain.
It goes without saying, I imagine, but there weren’t too many folks abstaining at Deschutes’ 21st birthday celebration on Saturday.
It was a block party, of sorts, with Woody (the company’s big barrel on wheels) serving up beer on one end of the lot, brats and burgers on the grill on the other end and a bunch of local bands rocking out in the middle.
I showed up early because I wanted to see two of Bend’s relatively new rock bands, Tuck and Roll and Goodbye Dyna, who were scheduled to play at noon and 1:30 p.m., respectively.
I’ve been hoping to see both for months, but could never make it work. This was the perfect opportunity, relentless sun notwithstanding.
I hadn’t been at the party for 60 seconds before Tuck and Roll already had me grinning from ear to ear.
“This is a cover song,” announced lead vocalist Sam Fisher. “That’s why it’s good.”
The Bend-based quartet does pure pop-punk music, pinpoint precise in its homage to revered punk icons The Descendents. And it is an absolute blast.
Fisher leads the way through noose-tight three-minute (at most) tunes that pop and fuzz in all the right ways, and bounce back and forth among timeworn lyrical themes: drinking beer, hanging out, alienation, politics and more beer.
In his gravelly, nasal voice, Fisher jumps seamlessly from bluebird powder days to decrying American flags made in China to sipping daiquiris on the beach, all delivered through endlessly catchy melodies. The rest of the band — Sean Garvin, Ben Jones and Chris Murra — is a pop-punk powerhouse that materialized fully formed, seemingly, on the local music scene just a year or so ago.
Tuck and Roll ripped through a dozen or so originals, plus covers of Dillinger Four, The Descendents and Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” That last one had the boomer guys next to me singing along at breakneck speed.
In the blink of an eye, Tuck and Roll was breaking down their gear, and the guys from Goodbye Dyna were moving in. I took the time to enjoy a brat in one of the quickly disappearing slivers of shade.
The Dyna dudes do alt-rock that stops and starts and swirls about like a paper airplane thrown from a tall building; it might be pointed one way at first, but you never quite know when a turn is going to come, or which direction it will go.
It’s wide-angle rock, crafted with care and drawing influence from many of the guitar-happy acts of the post-Nirvana era, but with an understated experimental undercurrent running throughout.
The band, led by Andy Jacobs (who seems to get taller every time I see him), played several songs from its fine “XXVII” album, all of which chugged along nicely despite some technical problems near the end of the set. And special kudos to guitarist Tyler Moss for the harmonies. They sounded great.
Goodbye Dyna also pulled out all the stops on the covers: “Everything’s Ruined” by Faith No More (surely a big influence on Jacobs); a faithful rendition of “Beat It” in tribute to Michael Jackson; and Ween’s “The Blarney Stone,” a dirty drinking song that seemed a perfect capper to my time at a beer-centric party.
My sliver of shade was gone, the temperature was rising and the crowd growing fast. Deschutes would celebrate for seven more hours (at least), but I called it a day and headed home, yet again impressed by the increasing number of quality bands in this town.