Esme Patterson | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
XPN Fest Recap: Esme Patterson takes care of the crowd on the Marina Stage
Esmé Patterson commanded the Marina Stage with her personality, music, and smile, playing songs from this year’s We Were Wild during the midday set.
Opening up with “Find It,” Patterson made it clear from the get go that she and her band were here to have fun. Classic 90s singer-songwriter sensibilities rippled under the high-energy indie rock arrangements, letting us know that this band’s music defies easy classification.
But that’s fine with us, because if the Portland, Oregon native stuck to one genre we wouldn’t have gotten the country tinged “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin'” (featuring the guitarist on slide guitar), or the poppy We Were Wild closer “Alone.”
Another thing we learned about Esmé during her 35-minute set is that she can alternate between badass rocker and concerned mom on the fly; instead of bantering about Philly cheesesteaks, Esmé made sure the audience was properly hydrated and reminded us to put on sunscreen (thanks, Esmé!).
And then she would drop right into her current hit single “No River” (in which she optimistically deals with the sobering topic of human flaws), or the entendre-heavy “Moth Song,” inviting us into her world of “sex and death,” as she put it.
With extra time on their hands the band snuck in “Francine,” a song that led into a spacey kind of jam that gave the bass player some time in the spotlight and the guitarist a chance to play around with his pedals. “The Waves” followed, deep and thundering, before closer “Feel Right” launched into a punk rock frenzy that had Esmé beaming from ear to ear.
Check out audio of the set, photos and the set list below.
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Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’