April 4, 1997
Berbatis Pan, Portland OR

Review and photos by Darrell Fuhriman. Check out the setlist.

Portland, OR - My biggest complaint about the Cranes is that I had to wait five years to see them again. I fell in love with them after I saw them open for The Cure on the "Wish" tour in Salt Lake City. I only saw them at a distance, and in a basketball arena with terrible sound, so the chance to see them up close had me giddy for two weeks in advance...

The show was scheduled to begin at 10pm, so we showed up at Berbati's Pan about at 8:45 to get food before the show began. Lucky for us we did, as when we got there, we found out that Rasputina would be going on in fifteen minutes. We grabbed a table near the front and watched a couple of numbers, which I was quite impressed by. Rasputina's cello and drum ensemble was quite interesting, and I will definitely be purchasing their album. After a couple of songs, my now growling stomach got the better of me, and wandered to the back of the bar to get some food and a vodka & tonic.

By the time Cranes came on, the excitement that had been increasing all week came to a head, and I dashed up to the front of the stage with my camera at the ready. (All told, I shot about 60 pictures of the show.)

The beginning of the show was plagued with sound problems, so "reverie" began the show instead of "everywhere." A couple of times during the first few songs, Ali visually cringed, once even stopped singing and stepped back to cover her ears (and give the sound guy a "what the fuck?" look). By the time "to be" started, the sound problems were mostly resolved, though they occasionally popped up again (generally responded to by more dirty looks). Sadly, sound problems aren't unheard of at Berbati's.

The crowd, while smaller than I had expected, responded very well, prompting Alison to remark "You're all so happy, you're making us happy.... and that's no mean feat."

I hung outside the show for a while afterwards, waiting for a chance to shoot a picture and chat w/ the band... unfortunately they didn't have time to stick around, because they had to drive to San Francisco (at least a fifteen hour drive by bus). Thankfully, Alison was nice enough to let me shoot a picture with her before dashing onto the bus.

My only regret is that they didn't play in Seattle the next night so I could drive up and see them... but after a five year wait to see them up close, who am I to complain?

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