Portlander dreams of free, mobile rock shows by bike

East Portland Sunday Parkways-46

Jacobo Salazar on vocals during
East Portland Sunday Parkways
in July 2010.
(Photos © J. Maus)

“A bunch of bike punks want to play outside instead of indoors” — That’s the simple plea from East Portland resident Brian Smith. He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $1,200 to help fund his “Tall Tour” live music project.

In a nutshell, the Tall Tour is a bike-based rock show that rolls the streets of Portland on tall bikes pulling amps, mics, cords and instruments in trailers and plays gigs at parties, rides, festivals — or whenever the mood strikes.

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Portlanders get amped up with bike sound systems

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bowie v. Prince Ride-14

Spotted this sound system at the
Bowie vs. Prince ride.
(Photos © J. Maus)

I can remember a time when bike-mounted sound systems were a novelty. When someone rolled up with tunes blaring they’d be met with oohs, aaahs, and a crowd of smiling onlookers. The smiles are still there, but the novelty has warn off a bit as bike sound systems have become much more common.

While riding around Sunday Parkways and all the parades and mobile dance party rides of Pedalpalooza it was obvious that, although they’ve become more popular, the systems are far from standardized. There are about as many set-ups as there are people using them and they range in sophistication and size.

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