It seemed like maybe they were rejuvenated by the addition of Walt Craven, but just a couple of shows into playing as a four-piece, one of Portland's longer-running rock acts announced this week they were calling it quits. Sidecar Radio will play their final show November 16, at the Big Easy.
Though it took them a bit to settle on a name (the Christian Hayes Element became the Element, which was already taken) and a lineup (things really gelled and got heavy when Jason Stewart joined on drums), over the course of 10 years Sidecar Radio would eventually become part of our local bedrock, seemingly by virtue of sheer willpower. Frontman Christian Hayes just seemed to want it so badly, and he poured out every ounce of that desire onto the stage each time he got up there.
That it has come to the point where "we all find ourselves at points in our lives that the current state of the music business cannot sustain" is just the way things go sometimes. Real life is a bitch and doesn't care that you've put out four EPs that quite a few people really enjoyed. It's not like none of these guys will ever plug in again.
If nothing else, though, when Sidecar Radio rock their last note they can say with confidence they left behind at least one truly great song. "When the Easy Gets So Hard," off 2008's Wave Principle, gets radio-rock dynamics perfectly, with a bouncy upstroke verse and a soaring chorus that turns "hard" into a five-syllable word that's impossible not to belt out. It's a tune that will live on in party playlists for years to come, and, in the end, a local band can't ask for much more than that.
: Music Features
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