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.