The Critical Hit

The Critical Shakes play all-ages show at Washington-Jefferson Skatepark

It’s definitely a sign when someone who books music for a living chooses to plan a concert for his birthday. “I just wanted to give something back to the community that’s given me so much,” Jordan Blaisdell says. 

Blaisdell is the booker at Luckey’s Cigar Club in downtown Eugene as well as the drummer and self-described rhythm vocalist for long-running Eugene duo The Critical Shakes.

To celebrate his 30th birthday, Blaisdell’s band will be joined by Portland hardcore legends HELP! and Eugene’s Weekend Noise Devices for a free, all-ages show at the Washington-Jefferson Skatepark. 

“We love all-ages shows. That’s where we learned our ethics. Any traction we have in this town comes from all-ages shows,” Blaisdell says, adding that Eugene is sorely lacking space for all-ages music.

Playing a pounding version of blue-collar Northwest hardcore, The Critical Shakes represent the swallowed rage of an economically depressed timber town, doing for Eugene what Nirvana did, in many ways, for Aberdeen. 

Furthermore, while The Critical Shakes are, no question, loud, aggressive, almost violent at times — and while the members of the band might find this term a bit bougie — they are, at heart, songwriters. 

“We can cross genres where other bands kind of hunker down,” Blaisdell says.

Featuring Davey Beebe on guitar and vocals, The Shakes have been together since 2014, and their long-awaited full-length debut is on its way. “We’re really close,” Blaisdell says.

Blaisdell says he recognizes kindred spirits when he hears HELP! “We don’t usually play with people that sound like us,” he says.

“They do a lot of what we do,” he adds. “Simple compositions played aggressively. I love to see people burn calories on stage. I see them do that.”

The Critical Shakes play with HELP! and Weekend Noise Devices 6 pm Friday, Jan. 24, at Washington-Jefferson Skatepark; free, all-ages.

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