I've always been a fan of WWeek's Music Fest Northwest . The fact that it's a smaller regional fest in an era of megafests really creates a nice opportunity to get small venue experiences with up and coming bands.
This year MFNW features two of my absolute favorite small venue bands:
Monotonix (listen to our interview with Monotonix), an Israeli punk slash rock band is a show not to be missed. Monotonix's shows are a tornado of energy where almost anything can happen. Monotonix sets up on the floor of the venue (in this case it'll be at the Roseland) and then they explode. If you're going to see one Music Fest NW show this year, make it Monotonix, it'll be an experience you'll never forget. [Monotonix plays at The Roseland Theater on Friday Septemer 18th at 10pm followed by Bad Brains at 11pm it's one of the best double bills of the fest]
Another 'band' that is extremely fun is Girl Talk. While not technically a 'band', Girl Talk will completely blow your expectations of what one guy can do with a laptop. Bringing together samples from almost every genre and era of music. It's amazing what gets mixed together, think songs like Elton John's Tiny Dancer can't collide with Kanye "Jackass" West's Gold Digger, it can and will and the result is some of the most dancable tunes you'll ever hear. It is absolutely impossible to see Girl Talk and not dance and his shows are some of the most fun I've seen . [Girl Talk plays at The Roseland Theater (8 NW 6th Ave) on Thursday September 17th at 11pm with Brother Reade and Guidance Counselor who go on starting at 9pm]
Other notable shows to be on the lookout for:
Arctic Monkeys – Friday Sept 18 @ 7pm Wonder Ballroom
Modest Mouse – Sunday Sept 20 @ 10pm Crystal Ballroom
Also I asked Trevor Solomon, the festival's artistic director which band he felt was the 'hidden gem' of the fest and he immediately replied Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (Read the Review of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros in Portland who play at Holocene on Thursday Sept. 17 @ Midnight.
Since many of the individual concerts are sold out, the best way to get in is to buy a Music Fest NW wrist band ($60) which gives you access to all the shows of the fest from Wednesday night through Sunday.
For more information about Musicfest NW: