Pow Magazine


Story, photos and video by: Kurt Johnson

Video and sound editing by: Dennis Gonzales

On September 9th, 2021, The Shivas appeared at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Oregon headlining a three-band show. The place was packed with around two hundred and fifty avid fans. The crowd built throughout the evening until The Shivas took the stage. Everyone in the crowd was complying with the Doug Fir’s attendance regulations of proof of full vaccination or negative Covid-19 test and wearing a mask. There were no protests, temper tantrums or incidents. Everyone played by the rules and a good time was had by all. In speaking with one of the staff members, they estimated that the new rules had maybe reduced attendance by perhaps 15-20%. Observing the crowd for this show, there was no evidence of that! It was just like old times! The Doug Fir Lounge is one of Portland’s most up-scale live music venues and hosts a wide variety of live music shows.


The first band up was The Paving Company followed by The Spoon Benders. The Paving Company provided a calm, relaxed version of nuvo-sixties psyche-groove that brought to mind the Youngbloods or the Lovin’ Spoonful. This was followed with a hard, acid-rock set from The Spoon Benders. To close the show, The Shivas took the stage and started in with a driving, straight-ahead, vocal harmony, rock sound and groove.

The Shivas are guitarist and singer Jared Molyneux, drummer and vocalist Kristen Leonard, guitarist Jeff City and Eric Shanafelt on bass. The band has been together for fifteen years and has toured almost nonstop since their beginning. They hail from Portland, Oregon and have toured globally prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic they’ve had to suspend their touring during lockdowns. They’ve restarted touring domestically, but it has been hit or miss due to local and venue restrictions. They’ve also adopted a very pro-vaccination and masking stance with the hope that they can see everyone who wants to come see not only them but also all of the bands and not have anyone turned away.

It’s been almost eighteen months of going without touring and playing regularly at live shows for them. They are currently touring in support of their upcoming new release, “Feels So Good//Feels So Bad” which is due for release on September 24th, 2021. The Shivas have released eleven albums including their newest over their musical career. They describe themselves as a “Rock and Roll Band”. However, they are much more than a basic rock band. They incorporate elements of psyche, garage and early sixties tones, grooves and beats to create a pounding, straight-ahead, yet melodious sound that incoporates strong, clear, flowing vocal harmonies that captures and draws the listener ever deeper into the vibe and beats. Judging by the swaying of the crowd, the effect was hypnotic.

You can see more of The Shivas at their website: https://www.theshivas.org/bio and on youtube.com

The views and opinions expressed in the interview are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pow Magazine.

The sold out crowd

I am an entertainment, show, band, concert and festival photographer experienced in shooting events of all sizes and genres. I am located in Portland, Oregon and am retired and no longer do any shooting or writing on a commercial basis. I am a contributing writer and photographer for POW Magazine. My past photo-journalism experiences since 2003 have been with a number of local Portland and Seattle entertainment. These include Portland's Positively Entertainment and Dining Magazine, Portland Music Review, the Cascade Blues Association Blues Notes Magazine, Northwest Karaoke and Live Music Review Magazine, and with the independent blues label, Delta Groove Productions in Los Angeles (9 yrs). For the past three years (2016-2019), I was a a writer/photographer to the www.x.dmndr.com ezine in New York. I also send occasional Karaoke feature articles to KaraokeScene magazine in Los Angeles. In addition, I publish my own Karaoke blog, West Coast Karaoke Review on Facebook where I write and photograph feature articles on regional Karaoke bars. I got my start shooting and publishing articles while in the Navy on my final ship the U.S.S Halyburton, FFG-40, where one of my assigned duties was as the ship’s Public Affairs Officer. This included submitting articles to local Charleston, SC newspapers along with the U.S. Naval Base Bowhook newspaper for two years until 1991. My goal with joining POW Magazine is two-fold, one, to shoot in as many new venues that I haven’t visited before and two, to hopefully benefit the bands that I cover and help them by providing strong photographic, journalistic and video coverage of their shows. POW Magazine’s Editor Sheena Salazar has already begun my training and immersion into video-journalism by having me shoot video on my first assignment, the Blank Tapes. Additionally, Dennis has taken the time to train me Editorial duties and in the mysteries of posting videos to Youtube. Now I have morphed into an actual Youtube Content Contributor! I feel fortunate to be provided the opportunity to expand my media horizon and be a member of the POW Magazine Team!! I presently am standing in for Sheena Moore as Temporary Acting Editor while she is on leave.