The stars aligned, and the patio was full. It was another beautiful cigarette burned night in the great city of Portland. And gracing the stage on this weekend’s eve night was none other than one of the finest gaggle of neanderthals to grab a few instruments, as well as a few dozen pints, and put on a display of some of the most exciting world music you could ever hear. The Fenbi International Superstars were out in full force to celebrate Hop & Vine’s 2nd anniversary as an establishment! Mike, Todd, Orion, Riley, and Kris are a group of ill-mannered and well-tempered gentlemen that you’ve probably only read in books about the origin of counter culture. All that estranged and diluted history of the age old Beats, comes back to life through these powerfully talented band of new age merry pranksters.
Kicking the show into gear with their demon acknowledging and soul searching cut “Two Miles From Home” was without the first, and probably only, smooth move the guys made throughout the night. After that, our heroes took off on another hour long voyage in search of a good time. And just as Kerouac only loved the made one’s who “never yawn or a say a commonplace thing”, you would have to be an absolute bore to not find the beauty in this slightly off-natured group that could outshine Gogol Bordello any day of the week.
Michael Phillips without a doubt understands the power of stage presence. Sometimes audience participation has to be taken. It’s as though Mike wants to make sure that you know one thing – you are there to watch them perform for them, not you. And through this entirely excellently conceived theory the guys “burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars” as old Jack would say. It would be in your best interest if you find yourself out on one of these dusty nights in the city of roses, that you stop on through wherever you think good times are meant to be had. There is a grave possibility that lurking in the shadows of drunken sailors and poets, critics and thieves, The Fenbi International Superstars surely will be there.