The other evening we got bundled up and took a Lyft car downtown. The rain was taking a break and the city lights were so pretty, reflecting on the Willamette River as we crossed.
We were headed to the Newmark Theater, a small theater in the same complex as the larger Arlene Schnitzer Theater, where we have seen concerts before. We stopped for dinner at The Art Bar downstairs. Affordable, comfy and delicious, we had quiche, pasta and fries, along with some Acrobat and Charles and Charles wines.
The Newmark is up a sparkling spiral staircase, and since we had balcony seats, we got to have good views. We were there to see The Hot Sardines.
Auntie Bridgett and Grandpa Nelson introduced me to this band last year, and when they told me the name, I thought they were kidding. We know and love a group called Pink Martini. Hot Sardines sounded like a parody, like they were making fun.
But the Sardines are real, and incredibly good. They play, sing and (yes!) tap dance to Jazz from the 1920s to 1940s. Sophie Tucker’s “Some of these Days” from 1926 was the earliest song they performed.
The Hot Sardines performs with seven or eight folks, and the group is lead by vocalist Elizabeth Bougerol and Pianist Evan Pallazzo, backed by a trumpet, clarinet, trombone, guitar, bass, and drums.
There is even a tap dancer, A. C. Lincoln, a percussion musician whose instruments are his feet. His skill and humor, including bits where it seemed his feet were getting away from him, added immensely to the fun of the show.
The musicianship and talent of the band is totally matched by the joy they clearly feel performing with each other. We clapped, snapped, and even sang along to “Your Feet’s Too Big”, “I Want to Be Like You”, in the style of Tito Puentes, (which was used in the animated version of The Jungle Book) and “Bei mir bist do shoen”.
In between songs, Elizabeth and Evan told stories and cracked jokes. After the show, the whole group went downstairs and signed autographs. Since I didn’t take pictures of the performance because that is rude, I took some candid pictures in the lobby.
It was a fine, fun, musical evening, and by the time we caught a Lyft home, we were humming, happy, and exhausted.