SPRINGFIELD – Music fans found the perfect way to beat the heat last Wednesday as they came to Island Park for the 2023 Sounds Like Summer concert series finale.
They took a Left on Wilson.
The Portland-area band – which plays an uptempo variety of genres, including funk, blues, rock, jam-band and jazz – kept the crowd on its toes, literally. Those who weren’t dancing were mesmerized by their eclectic sound.
“It’s awesome. They’re fun – they’re great,” Christa Allen said of Left on Wilson. “We love to hit the river first, then come here for the music in the park. The kids love it. One day a week I like to get off early and come out here and have fun.”
Allen, who lives in Eugene, works for Jennings Group, Inc. She was at the show with her sons Judah, 3½, and Maddoc, 12, and her 16-year-old daughter, Penelope, who was joined by her friend Amelia Stetson, 14.
For much of the show, Judah was either dancing or running around giving high-fives to anyone who would join him.
“He’s my little dancer alpha guy,” Allen said. “He’s out there making friends with everyone – he does this everywhere, airports, wherever we go. He’s my little moneymaker.”
She said she also loved seeing Penelope and Amelia having such a good time.
“She gets to let loose here, she loves music. They love grooving out here,” Allen said. “I’m so grateful for this event. It’s wholesome, it’s fun, it’s safe, and it’s local.”
Page Tyler, the lead singer and guitarist for Left on Wilson, was pretty impressed with the venue, too.
“It’s so amazing to play here, I love it,” Tyler said. “It’s so cool with these trees, the sun’s coming down and they block everything. It’s perfect, I love it.”
Left on Wilson, which has been together seven years, has one EP from 2018 but has yet to record a whole album.
“We have like 40-plus songs, and we’ve been halfway through recording all of them, but they never get finished, they’re just hanging out there, you know what I mean?” Tyler said.
They played several of those originals Wednesday, along with just three covers: “Crosseyed and Painless” by Talking Heads, “2001” by Phish, and “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin.
“We have great music in this town,” Eugene resident Wanda De Jesus said. “It’s great when the community can have these kinds of events that are peaceful and family-oriented. We are a loving community. We need to have laws to help people with drug addiction and getting homes. We need to keep our children out of drug trafficking and a lot of things that are wrong.
“Events like this that are family-oriented are great. I always go out to see good music, but I’m getting ready to have a heart procedure so I’m slowing down a little bit.”
Left on Wilson will be back in the area on Aug. 19, playing at Maurie Jacobs Park in Eugene.
“The Princess and the Goblin,” a local live theater production by the Roving Park Players, will be staged on Aug. 12-13 at Island Park at 6 p.m. each day.