Live Review: Real Estate at Wonder Ballroom

Words: Shayna Chabrow

Photography: Liz Garcia

The always ray of sunshine Iji kicked the night off with their effervescent music that filled the room with positive glows. The always playful members played their bubbly, dream pop tunes to an attentive crowd. They ended their short and sweet set with “I Don’t Ever Wanna Go Back” while keyboardist Tyler Martin swayed his hips and pointer finger from side to side and singer Zach Burba smiled warmly.

The Fresh & Onlys’ frontman Tim Cohen was next on the bill, touring off his newly released solo record Luck Man. His quirky, acoustic guitar, dad-rock style of music brought vintage sounds to young ears. He dawned a short sleeve button up with a baseball, mitt and bat pattern covering the entirety of it and at one point plastic sunglasses with one of the lenses missing. His backing band provided a soft bass and light synth while as Cohen’s deep voice weighed over it. His sarcastic, dry humored personality and style of music had the crowd laughing and moving all the way through his set.

Headlining was New Jersey band Real Estate who were touring off their wondrous new album In Mind. They opened the show with two charming songs off their new album, “Saturday” and “Stained Glass” before playing a handful of tracks of their three previous dreamy albums Atlas, Days, and Real Estate. The five-piece band were humbled to be playing in front of a Portland crowd as they exchanged witty banter with audience members throughout their set. Bassist Alex Beeker was eager to mention that they had received an “official email” telling them they had sold the most records in Portland. Keyboardist Matthew Kallman joked sarcastically back and forth with frontman Martin Courtney.Real estate was calm and cool as they played their notable melodic sound while softly picking at their guitars, gently tapping their drums, and smoothly pressing the keys of their synth. Their extensive on-stage jam sessions were intricate and lively as crowd members danced through every beat. “Beach Comber” and “Younger Than Yesterday” were nostalgic and brought on glistening eyes and hefty cheers. They closed their set with two of their more upbeat tracks, “Talking Backwards” and “White Light” before leaving the stage with waves of appreciation. Their twinkling, rock style is a perfect fit for a Portland crowd and it’s clear that they’ll always be welcome to return to the city.

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