Are you searching for things to do in Portland Oregon during Memorial Day weekend? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
There’s always lots of fun things to do in Portland including visiting iconic locations like the Portland Zoo, Oregon Museum of Science, International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.
In this article we will list some of the other fun things you can do in Portland during this weekend.
Saturday May 26th
A Commemoration of Heroism & Community
May 26 marks a year since a man spewing racist vitriol at two girls on the MAX fatally stabbed two bystanders (and wounded another) who tried to intervene. This weekend, TriMet is holding a memorial for the two men who lost their lives fighting bigotry and hate at the Hollywood MAX station, in front of a new colorful mural commemorating the victims. ALEX ZIELINKSI
4 pm, Hollywood Transit Center, free, all ages
Mdou Moctar, Secret Drum Band, Amenta Abioto
For evidence of Mdou Moctar’s innovative spirit, just look to his origin story: While growing up in Abalak, a town in Niger’s Azawagh Desert, the singer/songwriter taught himself to play homemade guitars. Moctar’s music blends Tuareg guitar with synth, drum machine beats, and Auto-Tuned vocals, which sound particularly lovely on “Tahoultine,” a song that blew up via cell phone sharing in the area. The show will open with two stellar local acts: the eerie, spaced-out percussive music of Secret Drum Band, which includes members from Explode into Colors, !!!, Typhoon, and Unwound, along with experimental musician Amenta Abioto, whose looped songs are like strange little stories or multi-faceted gemstones. ISABEL LYNDON
8 pm, Star Theater, $12
From Maxville to Vanport
70 years ago, just north of Portland, Vanport was destroyed by a flood—leaving its roughly 20,000 inhabitants, many of whom were Black, without homes in a state openly hostile to them. The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble examines this ugly period in Oregon’s ugly history with From Maxville to Vanport, a “multi-media concert of songs and video” that digs into the histories of Vanport and Maxville, a similarly segregated and multicultural town in Eastern Oregon. With music and text, Maxville to Vanport aims to “shed more light on parts of Oregon’s history that deserve wider recognition”—an excellent goal if there ever was one. ERIK HENRIKSEN
7:30 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, $20-35
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Portland Center Stage presents Deidrie Henry as Billie Holliday in this re-creation of the jazz legend’s final live performance.
2 pm, Portland Center Stage, $25-47
Lithics, Honey Bucket, Scorch
Tonight Portland’s own Lithics celebrates the release of their sophomore LP Mating Surfaces via Kill Rock Stars. The new record builds off the strengths of the minimalist post-punk band’s 2016 debut, Borrowed Floors: sharp guitar riffs that overlap and fit together like Tetris tiles, explosive bursts of percussive energy, and Aubrey Hornor’s detached-but-intense vocals.
9 pm, The Spare Room, $10
Don’t call it a comeback, and don’t call it a one-off. From the ashes of local legends The 3rd Floor has arisen the sketch comedy phoenix that is Nacho Gold, with a brand new set of ridiculous situations to luxuriate in, written and performed by Portland veterans Jordi Barnes, Lori Ferraro, Jason Keller, Jason Rouse, Tony Marcellino, and Ted Douglass.
8 pm, Siren Theater, $12-15
Hosannas, Aan, Harlowe
Hosannas has been hanging around Portland for a long time, providing quality ambient avant-pop sounds to the city’s ears. Catch up with them tonight when they celebrate the release of their latest album, Picture Him Protecting You, with fellow locals Aan and Harloweon hand to round out the proceedings.
9 pm, Doug Fir, $8-10
Strange Babes Soul & Funk Revue
Just try and convince me this event doesn’t sound like everything missing in your life. The lady DJ trio Strange Babes invites you to “feel all the feelings on the dance floor” at their monthly dance party, featuring soul and funk jams from New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Philly, Chicago, and more. Dance it out, Portland. ALEX ZIELINSKI
9 pm, Killingsworth Dynasty, $3-5
Ritual Veil, Cruz de Navajas, Vueltas, False Figure
In less than a year, Ritual Veil has risen from remnants of bands’ past to become a sex-beat and synth-pop powerhouse. While their sensual sounds will close out this night of post-punk, the other acts on the bill should pique interest as well: Oakland’s False Figure brings a hauntingly intense energy to their performances. New local outfit Vueltas have but one live recording, their track “Ocho Espadas,” but it’s enough to leave a lasting impression. Much like Ritual Veil, Mexico City’s Cruz de Navajas shot up in the last year with darkwave that’s enriched by its immersion of Latinx culture. CERVANTE POPE
8:30 pm, Tonic Lounge, $10
Strange Hotels, Chanti Darling
A local darling by the name of Chanti lends support to the Portland debut of Strange Hotels, an indie two-piece looking to blend retro rock ‘n’ roll with classic R&B.
9 pm, The Liquor Store, $6
16th Annual Vampire’s Masquerade Ball
Lady Raven once again presents this very fancy party that celebrates both elegance and decadence of the kind you tend to find vampires drape themselves in. It’s definitely more a celebration of that atmosphere, and not the—yunno—murdering of people to slake an unquenchable bloodthirst that’s damned you to an eternity of demonic suffering with only bitter nothingness as a release when you are inevitably betrayed by one of your undead tribe. No, this is more about wearing velvety things and drinking dark stuff and smoking attractively while fine gothic and industrial music plays in the background.
9 pm, Melody Ballroom, $50
Sunday May 27th
Once he was done with the Talking Heads, David Byrne could’ve kicked back, not done shit, and still known his status as one of the greatest musicians of our age would be secure. That’s what I would’ve done. Probably what you would’ve done too. But not the brilliantly restless Byrne, who went on to explore film, books, solo albums, visual art, filmmaking, bicycle advocacy and far, far more. Which makes his promise that his current tour is “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense” all the more intriguing and exciting. ERIK HENRIKSEN
8 pm, Keller Auditorium, $50-180
Curtis Harding, Algiers
Ex-CeeLo Green backup singer Curtis Harding released one of 2017’s most infectious records with Face Your Fear. Starting with the glossy funk of lead single “Need Your Love,” the new LP showcases Harding’s self-described “slop-soul,” a subgenre that mishmashes classic soul, gospel, R&B, and psychedelic pop. Face Your Fear is a knockout album that’s made for the dancefloor—prepare to move your body.
9 pm, Doug Fir, $17-20
Bob Dylan’s 77th Birthday Bash
Bob Dylan is turing 77! Come celebrate with an night of tributes from Portland scene staples Little Sue, Lewi Longmire, Mike Coykendall, Skull Diver, Wonderly, Kory Quinn, and more.
8 pm, Mississippi Studios, $12-15
Covers Aren’t a Crime PDX
Cactus Flower Booking presents the latest installment of “Covers Aren’t a Crime PDX,” featuring tributes to the Talking Heads (as performed by members of Surfer Rosie, Gut Knife, Havania Whaal, Melt, Jazz Boyfriends), Blondie and the Pixies (as performed by members of Fantastic Plastic and Fire Nuns), and Nirvana (as performed by Helens).
8 pm, The Waypost, $5
Life During Wartime
The Pacific Northwest’s preeminent Talking Heads tribute act returns to the Goodfoot. Must be a total coincidence that David Byrne is in town on the same day.
10 pm, Goodfoot, $15
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Almost everything you could, should, and do love about Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Avatar (both the blue-kitty-people version and the kid-with-the-arrow-on-his-head version) was already present in this 1984 anime classic, but made more visually interesting and emotionally engaging (if you can believe that, and you should), thanks to the beautiful mind of legendary storyteller Hayao Miyazaki. BOBBY ROBERTS
Academy Theater, see Movie Times, $3-4
Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop
Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop is a monthly showcase created by Portland native Elan Eichler, who raps under the name Mighty Misc., showcasing the many flavors and styles in Portland’s hip-hop community, including live music, spoken word, and audio/visual art.
9 pm, Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge