Akron/Family | Review

The Oregonian / Portland Oregon | Cheston Knapp

Knockin' 'em dead live

Let's get right to the point:  Each time the Akron/Family (pictured) plays, they have the potential to put on one of the best shows you've ever seen. Their essence resides in the live performance.  A distinct reciprocal energy bounces between the band and the crowd, where each feeds off the other, but in a more spiritual sense than happens at other rock shows. The crowd isn't just singing along, but participating in the creation of the music. This symbiosis is like some strange combination of a Grateful Dead show and a tent conversion. When Akron/Family came through town earlier this year, they ended the show by entering the crowd and leading a clap-and-stomp circle while repeating, "Love and space" over and over. The effect was mesmerizing and moving. So call its music whatever you want: psych-rock, freak-folk, psych-folk, folk-rock, freak-rock, rock-rock. Just don't be late for the show.