(Photos: Alli Bratt)

Explosive hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar and surf rockers Best Coast stopped in Portland this week in collaboration with vitaminwater and FADER uncapped concert series. Ostensibly the idea is to create crossover deliciousness through inspired pairings (such as Zola Jesus and The-Dream or 2 Chainz and Passion Pit). With plenty of mutual fans spanning their native West Coast, the LA-based Best Coast and Lamar fit the bill nicely.

The seven-city circus of logos and lights (and free beer!) retrofitted the Lumberyard Bike Park & Pub in East Portland for the occasion, parking a stage at the confluence of several waves of bike ramps deep in the cavernous building. Putting together two tidy bars serving bottled Heineken and throwing in a few of those ubiquitous buckets filled with vitaminwaters on ice, the transformation was seamless. Though the temperature inside rose eventually, especially once Lamar started on the night’s second set, for a while the darkened facility even doubled as a welcome cool respite from the pervasive heat outside.

By the time Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno took the stage, the place was pretty packed, carpeted in jostling, colliding shoulders, bobbing grins and folks weaving through the crowd. The show had obviously been a popular draw with Portlanders, as the surprise concert ran out of free passes within several hours of its announcement the day before. And for all their ironic reputations, aqueous Portlanders seemed genuinely appreciative of the free chilled water (either all the hiking and biking we do or the dry mouth is behind that).

Cosentino and Bruno, with an assist from a drummer and additional guitarist, blazed through a good sampling of their discography. Bruno pulled diligent duties shredding on “Crazy For You,” first up for the evening, and powered through the slog of “Last Year.” And he got the crowd to give in to the hook on “The Only Place” while Cosentino drew out the “wavvvvvvvvvves” in an appealing twist on the song’s chorus. “Goodbye” had Cosentino’s vocals coming through clear in the crisp house mix and she even, despite a marathon state of touring of late for the band, felt energized enough to brightly ask, “Anyone here like Sassy’s?” and inquire about our vegan strip club (soon to be clubs).

But while Best Coast played a jangly, no frills set that kicked up the chill-out factor, Kendrick Lamar proved the juxtaposition was still an intriguing one. After laying down “A.D.H.D.,” “P and P,” “She Needs Me” and the California-repping “Women, Weed and Weather” in rapid-fire, bass-shaking style, Lamar and Cosentino took the stage together for his “No Make-Up (Her Vice).” At one point, Lamar pulled an impressive local kid named Kenny up who hyped for a bit and even rapped lead for “Rigamortis.” Spitfiring rhymes so breathlessly his beats might have struggled keeping up, Lamar’s loud and spirited performance was like Best Coast’s more intense cousin, creating an atmosphere that was akin to the spillover from two parties directly across the street from each other coalescing into one. Which I guess, for a concert series about mashing up musical styles, is sort of the point.

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