At a time when the summer festival season seems exhausted and depleted, with the same 50 or so band showing up on the bills of nearly every outdoor gathering from coast to coast, Oregon’s Pickathon festival — now in its 17th year — stands as a glowing example of what a summer music festival can be. Its roster reflects genuine musical curiosity — it feels curated rather than “programmed” — and its relatively small scale all but eliminates the packed-in, zoo-like atmosphere that’s come to define the summer concert season. Pickathon is defined by what summer festivals should be defined by — the music.
Every week, Wondering Sound will be premiering live performances from the Mountain Stage at last year’s Pickathon festival. Each one provides a glimpse of the kind of energy and electricity that make Pickathon so special. And there is perhaps no band better to kick off this series than New York’s The Men. Below, the group tears through “Night Landing” from their raucous debut Leave Home, leavening its punk fury with looping classic rock leads. It’s a high-powered start to our Pickathon video premiere series.