Marcus Eaton at the Star Theatre in Portland November 19, 2014

Marcus Eaton at the Star Theater in Portland November 9, 2014

It’s been too long since Marcus Eaton was in Portland. When I got the news he would be coming through, deciding to attend the show was a no-brainer.

As I told a friend:  “I am sort of miffed at Marcus (not really, I’m joking) for moving to LA. He used to have this Pacific Northwest circuit, where he’d play Seattle, Spokane, Kennewick, Portland, Boise, and sometimes smaller towns in between. I could catch those shows. Seattle and Kennewick are only 3 1/2 hours’ drive, so practically around the corner.”

Marcus has been busy in LA, still doing shows in Italy, working hard with David Crosby, and has completely changed the old routine. He’s connecting to thousands more people than before. Now that our little secret is getting out, the old fans are having to relinquish our personal time with our favourite artist, so he can satisfy the new fans. It’s a bummer, but I’m also thinking: it’s about time he gets the exposure he deserves.

Enjoy the fire, a drink, a smoke, and watch people walk by on the street.

Enjoy the fire, some gyros, a drink, a smoke (Oregon just voted in favor of marijuana legalization)  and watch people walk by on the street.

Here's the rest of the view from the fire. Great atmosphere here.

Here’s the rest of the view from the fire. Great atmosphere here.

I showed up early (because, Duh, it’s Marcus!), so I had to wait around. Marcus had the audacity to leave after sound check, and get a bite to eat I presume. Imagine, thinking about food at a time like this. One of the employees pointed me through a door to the outdoor patio and Zaalook mediterranean cuisine. There was a fire pit beside the sidewalk and that’s where I soaked up a little of the city while I sipped my drink and waited.

He showed up with 2 minutes to spare. There he was! No glasses, short hair, but the man I was looking for. I practically leapt across the theatre for a hug and a hi and then watched him hit the stage.

Playlist for Mark (you know who you are!):

  • Sunrise Lets You Down
  • What’s the Difference
  • The Calm Beneath
  • Close Your Eyes/ mashup with Bille Jean
  • Fiona

Marcus had expressed some worry that the sound would work out, since there had been problems earlier during the sound check. I don’t know what the problems had been, but we were bombarded with bass at the beginning of the show. Luckily the sound guy pulled it off somewhat over time. Sadly, a residual effect of this was when I managed to get a super-great close up and undisturbed video of The Calm Beneath, I played it back home and found it absolutely worthless due to the sound quality.

On the beautiful stage of the Star Theater

On the beautiful stage of the Star Theater

Marcus claps into the microphone while he builds a loop.

Marcus claps into the microphone while he builds a loop.

I allowed myself to be annoying and snapped about 7 shots with a flash, but it didn't improve the photos and mostly just gave Marcus glowing red eyes.

I allowed myself to be annoying and snapped some shots with a flash, but it didn’t improve the photos and mostly just gave Marcus glowing red eyes.

I have told this tale before, trying to describe how much I love his music. As soon as the guitar began to sing, my heart was melting. It sounds like a serious health condition, but jellied innards are a sign of big-time fan worship. And it’s a good thing. I was trying to soak up the melodies, the atmosphere, the idea that I was finally seeing him live again. The crowd really went bananas when he played Bille Jean. I’ve heard him do this before, but it doesn’t fail to please. And five songs later, it was over too soon. The audience tried cheering as payment for one more song, but we were ineffective. Melted heart broken.

It was fun to notice that at least half the audience was there FOR Marcus…which I am not used to seeing when he opens for another act. It has almost been a badge of honor to be the only fan who shows up for ME, and not for the main event. But the tides are turning and ME is coming into his own time.

Yes, he was touring with his longtime friend and even longer time guitar hero, Tim Reynolds. I had seen Marcus Eaton and Kevin Rogers open for TR3 before, several years ago. While we waited for TR3, one audience member told me, “If you like Marcus, just wait till you hear Tim Reynolds. Your life will never be the same.” She had no idea who she was talking to, ha ha! She should not have been so confident that our worlds had not already been rocked by a guitar magician. I chatted with no less than seven other people that night, who all swore they had only come for Marcus Eaton. One couple had never even heard of Tim Reynolds. Ha!

So yeah, Star Theater‘s big act for the night was TR3 with Tim, the bassist Mick Vaughn, and drummer Dan Martier.  They were really entertaining and the music was much more rock and roll than what Marcus gave us. And all those guitars you saw stacked up in the photo at the top? Tim played them all! It was a great show from beginning to end.

Tim Reynolds wows the audience

Tim Reynolds wows the audience

The boys even brought Marcus onto the stage so we could suck the last bit of ME music out of the night.

I could never get Mick Vaughn into focus. That man is one high-powered bundle of energy.

I could never get Mick Vaughn into focus. That man is one high-powered bundle of energy.

I had not seen Marcus emerge during the TR3 set, and didn’t know till nearly the end of the concert that he was in the back with the merch, available for chatting. As soon as I learned this, I went back to chat a little, but kept it brief cuz I didn’t want to abandon my date. We were able to exchange a couple of personal tidbits to catch up on each other’s lives. He empathized with getting my braces off – yay!! A friend snapped this photo during our few minutes together.

Awww, reunited.

Awww, reunited.

After the show, I stood beside him and got in a few more questions in between fans gushing and buying CDs. Marcus said he loves L.A., loves his neighborhood, loves the music, the beach. It’s hard to stay mad at him for living there when it makes him so happy. The answer to the most sought-after question of the evening: The new album is still not ready, no new songs were introduced, no insider info. He’s got most of it done, he told me. Aside from the beautiful song Better Way, we will just have to be patient. “Soon!” promises Marcus.

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