Ash Reiter’s summer show rare in Eugene

Eugene is a great summer music haven for fans of classical music. For a few weeks, fans of the Bach Festival are engrossed in wonder as violins, oboes and the rest of the classical instrument range play in a blissful harmony.

For everyone outside this demographic, Eugene’s music scene during the summer can seem rather bleak.

In most metropolitan cities, summer means outdoor concerts galore. The simple celebration of outdoor reggae and blues concerts every weekend is something entirely absent from Eugene. There are very few sunny days of music in the park mixed with summer nights listening to live music under the stars. The theme for summer music in Eugene is make do with what you have. 

This is mainly due to the mass exodus of college students in early June. Most music acts touring the West Coast cross Eugene off of their normal touring schedule and head somewhere else. Fortunately for live music enthusiasts living in Eugene this summer, not every musician views Eugene as a summer wasteland. If you’re hoping to discover a healthy pulse in the Eugene summer music scene, this guide will focus on promising acts that find their way to Eugene during the summer.

Unfortunately, the first week of Summer Session doesn’t boast the guarantee of finding interesting music acts. Eugene, for the most part, is tragically lame all week, which is why this week’s most promising act is playing Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at the Axe and Fiddle in Cottage Grove.

Although the drive to see Ash Reiter will be longer than anything in Eugene, seeing this folksy indie musician from San Francisco is worth the trip. Gaining popularity by playing small local venues all across the Bay Area, Reiter has gained a large amount of success as a local musician. Wanting to expand on her local success, Reiter is hitting the road on a tour that features music from her newly released album “Paper Diamonds.”

The thing that makes Reiter an act worth seeing is her style and light hearted appearance, which make her almost destined for commercial success. Her voice is different than many of the emerging folk/indie acts, while her musical style and content is closer to something pulled off of the “500 Days of Summer” soundtrack. Although making that comparison may make Reiter seem like a carbon copy born out of a Hollywood studio, each song off of her new album carries a certain level of creativity and originality that is definitely worth a listen.

The best chance to get an idea about both Reiter’s style and live performance is to YouTube a clip of the live version of her newly released song “Stumble and Fall,” which she played at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop in March.

If you have enough free time on Tuesday to justify a trip down to Cottage Grove, Reiter is definitely worth it. The show is free, so gas and drinks are the only things that require money. The experience should be an early glimpse into an artist that has the potential to have a great deal of success.

Although this week isn’t the most promising, like the weather, the concert lineup will also improve. Stay hopeful, because summer 2010 in Eugene will still hear the melodies of good music.

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