One Longfellow Square has developed a reputation for jazz, folk, blues and bluegrass… some might say, mostly for Baby Boomers… But things are changing at what was once known as “Portland’s most intimate venue.”
For those who may be unfamiliar with One Longfellow Square, or OLS as they are now being called, it is a small venue on the corner of Congress and State Streets that to the detriment of its location and building design seems to blend right into the Video Expo next door, a purveyor of pornography.
OLS has a new talent buyer who promises to introduce a lot of new styles and younger generations of musicians.
Last year the venue hosted the popular “Live and Local” series, that featured unique pairings of local bands primarily made up of Millennials. This fall they are booking acts like Beauty Pill, a heavy, somewhat brooding band from DC; Ben Caplan, a twenty something with the beard of a 40-year-old lumberjack and the voice of a 70-year-old chain smoker (that is oddly and hauntingly beautiful); and July Talk, an LA-based band whose high energy and hard hitting sound might literally break the venue… seriously, the stage at OLS is a bit old and rickety, providing a little extra suspense for Portland’s thrill-seeking music enthusiasts.
The venue’s bar has gone through a transition, as well. What once played home to a plethora of teas, coffees and high end liquors now hosts an assortment of local craft beers, rotating Shipyard taps, whiskey for anyone’s budget, and Czechvar, a beer from the Czech Republic that the bar manager swears will be the next PBR. The venue invites all hipsters of the Greater Portland area to come to a show and try both a Czechvar and a PBR to compare and contrast.
“We’re still serving up coffee, tea, nice wines and liquors at the bar and we’ll still be the city’s home for bluegrass, folk and our signature series with Portland Jazz Orchestra,” says Liz Pettengill, the venue’s Community Outreach Coordinator.
“We’re just broadening our scope a little to support the next generation of music enthusiasts.”
In addition to the wide range of talent they’re introducing to the city, they have recently introduced a Student Pass Program. Current students can receive 20% off all ticket purchases. Present a student ID at the OLS box office and save on upcoming shows.
View the OLS calendar online at onelongfellowsquare.com, or read their monthly listing in print edition of the West End News.