For The Family Crest, form is function. The collective of savant instrumentalists and vocalists first met at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before creating a rollicking amalgamation of classical, indie and opera that you can still firmly rock out to. The current incarnation of the band features lead vocalist/guitarist Liam McCormick, flautist/pianist Laura Bergmann, bassist John Seeterlin, violinist Owen Sutter, cellist Charly Akert, trombonist George Mousa Samaan and percussionist Anthony Franceschi. Their resulting soundscapes are undeniably cinematic and grandiose—a sweeping tapestry of complex parts wound tight around disarmingly catchy melodies.
That degree of harmony wouldn’t exist if the Family didn’t operate with the affection inherent in their namesake. With the core of the Crest formed nearly a decade ago, the musicians display an ease and hospitality that’s singular, finishing each other’s sentences about obscure Star Trek (not Wars, as they’ll inform you) trivia and concocting new variations of bowling, in which players score points by guessing the glacial speeds of their throws. When the Family arrived in Portland for their show at the Doug Fir, we spent a day in the life with the clan, eating a delicious breakfast at Cafe Broder, grabbing drinks at Upright Brewery, and celebrating their tour’s end with a rousing show.
Also check out their performance from when they visited Paste’s New York Studio last month in the video below.
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Laura Bergmann considers a new dress at Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique in Southeast Portland.
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Liam McCormick (probably) considers new pants at Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique in Southeast Portland.
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Laura and John Seeterlin at Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique in Southeast Portland.
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The Family Crest orders at Portland's Swedish brunch institution, Cafe Broder.
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Caffeine shakes check at Cafe Broder.
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Mimosa toast at Cafe Broder.
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Charly Akert dissolves cubed sugar in coffee at Cafe Broder.
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Charly at Cafe Broder.
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Charly goes crate diving outside Cafe Broder and discovers uncanny fashion parallels with Fiddler on the Roof protagonist Tevye.
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George Samaan enjoys a saison at Upright Brewery, a cash-only hidden gem of a drinking hole located in the Lloyd District of Portland.