This past Wednesday, Southern California-based band Movements played a sold-out show at The Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Oregon.
The band, composed of singer Patrick Miranda, guitarist Ira George, bassist Austin Cressey, and drummer Spencer York, formed in 2015, and subsequently released their first EP, Outgrown Things, in 2016. Since reaching success with their first full length album, Feel Something, in 2017 and their second album, No Good Left To Give, in 2020, they have released third album Ruckus!, this past August.
Though the venue remained fairly empty at the start, fans started to fill in the gaps as the the first band, Heart to Gold, started to play. While it didn’t look like many concert-goers knew of them, most of the crowd were nodding their heads in agreement of their music. I was pleased to see the band’s great stage presence. Lead singer Grant Whiteoak asked fans to move in closer to the stage, which is always a great move to encourage interaction. They were a great introduction to the night.
Next on stage was Softcult. Though unfamiliar to me, they were amazing. I could see why they opened for a band like Movements, as their music is very similar-sounding to Movement’s first album. Their sound actually reminded me of Avril Lavigne’s first album, which is usually classified as post-grunge or mall goth. It was lyrically grungy, yet still bright in tone. Though they altogether had a calmer sound, the crowd was far from quiet. Many fans sung along and kept their attention focused on the stage.
Mannequin Pussy was the final opener. They were a huge surprise and absolutely blew me (and the crowd) away with their performance. I hadn’t heard of them either so I didn’t know what we were in for. When I walked up to front to get some pictures before their set started, security warned me that photographers might have to leave the photo pit due to crowd surfing getting too wild. Rowdiness is usually expected at alternative-rock shows, but getting this kind of warning had me skeptical. They weren’t wrong though, the crowd went absolutely wild. I was in shock by the duality of their lead singers vocals. One minute she was singing softly, almost angelically, and then switching to loud screams. There was so much energy in their performance and it reflected perfectly to the crowd. I’ve honestly never seen so many men in a mosh pit for a female-fronted opening act, which was refreshing. One of my favorite parts of their performance was the small speech by the lead singer regarding fans that came to the show alone: “You don’t need anyone to validate what you like.”
By the time Movements came onstage, the crowd was thoroughly hyped up. They had a slow intro, starting off with one of their newer songs, “You’re One Of Us Now.” The best thing about seeing them live is that they sound almost identical to the their recordings. Frontman Patrick Miranda delivers his smooth vocals on a gold platter. There isn’t much to say about the audience during the show, except for that they were totally entranced. Some were moshing, some crowd surfing, but many just watched the stage with the look of bliss written across their faces.
They played a wide variety of their songs off of each album, and even included their single “Cherry Thrill”. During “Fever Dream,” which they played acoustic, Miranda called out fans saying they would mess up the second chorus. There was a funny moment of laughter throughout the room as he listened to the crowd botch the lyrics and playfully laughed with fans. If you haven’t seen them play before, I highly recommend it. They are spectacular live. I’ve seen them play at bigger festivals, but it doesn’t compare to the intimate setting of a smaller venue.