Superhighway w/ Jesus Miranda – Concert Review

Superhighway w/ Jesus Miranda
Velo Cult Bicycle Shop
01.30.2015

IMG_4760A bicycle shop? This was probably your first thought. It was mine when I first found out the location for the special “Secret Show” by local band and friends of indie/alt, Superhighway. “Why on Earth would a band play a gig at a bike shop?”

Well, if you’re not familiar with Velo Cult, let me introduce you. Velo Cult is a bike shop, yes, but it is also: a concert venue, a bar, a coffee shop, a movie theater, a comedy club, etc. etc. It is the Buckaroo Banzai of locations. In essence, it is Portland. It’s features include a communion table made out of an old bowling lane, a castle drawbridge as a stage, and bikes and bike parts decorating every wall.

Now on to the show. You all know Superhighway. If you don’t, you’re probably not a frequent reader. In that case, welcome! This is Superhighway. They are Eli Hirsch and Quincy Saunders, two guys from Portland that play some of the danciest, most fun and energetic indie pop you can find. Though they have yet to release an official EP or album (one is on the way soon), they are infamous for their legendary live shows. It is common for concert-goers at a Superhighway show to go absolutely “apeshit”. 

For this particular show, Superhighways’ local fans got the first shot, and personal invites. The band came up with the idea of a “secret show”. For this, they’d send out personal invitations to fans, giving them the date, the time, and a couple addresses to send everyone on a scavenger hunt to figure out the show’s location.

It seems like the concept worked perfectly, as fans showed up at Velo Cult just in time to catch the night’s openers, local band Jesus Miranda.

Jesus Miranda are, as one crowd member said, “dad-rock”. They rock hard, but at the same time it’s laid back and comfortable. It was an easy transition into the explosive energy Superhighway were soon to bring. Their set was a descent length, and it seemed like the crowd enjoyed it.

If it wasn’t for the music, the majority of the crowd (teen girls) seemed to think JM were pretty cute. I’ll give them props for both.

Now, Velo Cult was about to be torn down. Superhighway ran out to the stage (which actually only held the drummer. The rest of the band was on the floor with the crowd, which gave everyone a good 2 inches away view of the action), and their energy was already about to burst. At the first riff of the first song, the built-up energy inside everyone was let go, and the whole of Velo Cult exploded in a massive dance.

This is a typical Superhighway show. You jump, you dance, you scream, you go absolutely “apeshit”. Though this is the basic equation, it seems like Superhighway get a little bit better each time.

The last time we saw Hirsch and Saunders was for their opening gig for Wild Cub and Priory at Crystal Ballroom (review and interview here). It’s only been about two months since that show, and already it was apparent the band has grown in performance skills. Maybe it was the ultra-intimate venue, but it seemed like Superhighway had even more energy than before, and the audience was having it all.

Along with the performance energy itself, Superhighway’s original music is sounding more polished than ever. Recent releases like “Back to Chinatown” seemed to be audience favorites in the original music category, but so did all of their yet-to-be-released songs, ones we all can’t wait to hear on an EP soon!

Other highlights from the set included the bands rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”, a song they played back in June at the gig opening for KONGOS. Another cover that got the fangirls going wild was one nobody saw coming. With the opening guitar riff, I knew it was familiar. However, it wasn’t until the chorus was reached that I realized that we were getting down to Superhighway’s rendition of “S.O.S.” by the Jonas Brothers. Though I’m not a JoBros fan, I can say that Superhighway’s twist made it a fun song to get down to. No shame necessary.

If you missed this “secret show”, don’t fret. You have another chance coming very soon! You can catch Superhighway at yet ANOTHER FREE, ALL-AGES show on February 28th! The show will be held at Portland State University, and will feature local band Fringe Class as the night’s opener. Here’s a little message from KPSU with more info:

On February 28th KPSU and PSPS proudly present a pair of performances by two buzzworthy indie pop acts.

This free all ages show will feature performances from 7-9 PM. Parkway North is a recently renovated space in Smith Memorial Union on the campus of Portland State University which has hosted performances ranging from AND AND AND to Sama Dams during the 2014-2015 school year.

This show starts early so get your night started right and join the party at Parkway North!

Find more info for the show here. Hope to see you all there!

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