Raven | Vicious Rumors | Lutharo – Hawthorne Theater – Portland, Oregon, April 5, 2024 – Show Review

Vicious Rumors is special to us here in Portland, Oregon, because we have two hometown heroes in this San Francisco based band:  Guitarist Gunnar DüGrey and Vocalist Brian Allen.

The show took place at the The Hawthorne Theater, which is one of my favorite venues in town.  There was some initial confusion regarding if the show would be in the main venue or the lounge.  Can you imagine Raven in the lounge?  The confusion was quickly quelled, and we were good to go.  We filed into the darkly lit chambers to a good quantity and quality of merch from each band.

On this Friday evening, at this 21+ show, you could tell by the chatter that some were here for Vicious Rumors, some for Raven, and some for both.

The spectators hanging around the bar flowed to the stage quickly once they heard Canada’s Lutharo start their set.


LUTHARO | I’m traditionally not a fan of female-fronted metal bands, but I really liked Lutharo.  Krista Shipperbottom was awesome.  I was impressed that she wasn’t overtly sexual and presented herself simply as a musician in a band…and she did it better than most.

I have a real problem when female singers use nipple tape and barely any clothing and then are offended when you ask in an interview how much does sexuality play in their stage appearance.  Ms. Shipperbottom was a simply a vocalist in a metal band and I admired her for that.  In addition to her stage presence, her vocals were great.

You know how some bands make you want to be a musician?  For me it is Helmet that makes me want to play guitar and The Haunted makes me want to be a drummer.  Ms. Shipperbottom made me want to be a female singer in a metal band!

Turing on their second album “Chasing Euphoria,” Lutharo were a perfect opener for the show.  As their set progressed, more people approached the stage to see what was belting out such great metal.




VICIOUS RUMORS | I had the chance to catch Gunner and Brian prior to the show for a chat.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Vicious Rumors’ founder Geoff Thorpe for the first time.  I’ve been seeing Gunner play since he was about 12 and felt so happy for him. Not only is he an amazing guitar player, but he looks like he is having the time of his life.  I stood next to his family (musicians in their own right) and saw how proud they were of him.

Brian, who is one of the most confident and entertaining front men was fantastic.  He hits notes that defy human vocal cords, all while providing the crowd with his signature grin and evil eyes.  I loved that when Vicious Rumors came out to play on this night, they came out with a frenzy.  I imagine they do this at every show!  Wearing normal metal clothes (except Brian who had on a Culture Club or Boy George shirt amongst his metal studs and chains), the men of Vicious Rumors came out blazing with their style of heavy metal.

Drummer Larry Howe was a beast hiding behind the drums, Bassist Robin Utbult held down the groove, and the rest of the guys just blasted out blistering guitar solos, snappy grooves, and ear-piercing vocals.  Vicious Rumors has been going for 40+ years, and they continue to go strong.  They performed an incredibly tight set for the fans in Portland.

I was so busy enjoying Vicious Rumors (and taking photos) that I didn’t get the set list.  What I can say is they are seasoned, entertaining, and really fun to watch.




RAVEN | Wow, it had been 40 years since I’d first seen Raven live and I was quite excited to see them again. One of the great traits of Raven is that brothers John and Mark Gallagher have stayed committed to their band since their early teens.  Influenced by metal and punk, they reign supreme for longevity and stick-to-itiveness.  I had the pleasure of seeing Raven in the early 80s, and I was hooked.

The albums I wore out were: Rock Until You Drop, Wiped Out, All for One, and Stay Hard!

Often renowned as being instrumental in bringing the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) to the masses, I don’t think that title matters to them one bit; music matters to them!  Brothers Mark and John exude love for what they do.  John’s voice is strong.  He hits the high notes just as well as he did 40 years ago.  Mark, guitarist and backup vocalist, is a master at the guitar.  On this night they played a good mix of old and new, plus they brought back the guitar and bass solos.

One thing you’ll notice about Raven is that for three men, they make a lot of sound.  Mark Gallagher, one of the most underrated guitarists of all time, is really fun to watch.  While not quite as reckless as they were in the 80s (throwing amps and smashing things) both brothers made funny animated faces as they played their instruments beautifully, all while running back and forth across the stage.

Tour shirts showcased 50 years as a band, but 50 years has simply been the passing of time; John and Mark are still full of energy and do not appear to be slowing down any time soon.

Touring on their newest album, “All Hell’s Breaking Loose,” the men of Raven performed a pristine set. John still plays with his hands-free mic while his fingers pummel the bass.  Mark still looks statuesque with his guitar slung low, his lightning bolt strap, and arm bands evenly spaced down his right arm.  Towards the end of the set, just like they did 40 years ago, they approach each other and cross their instruments holding them high above their heads!  The sound they made when they rub the strings together is another fun, signature move mastered by Raven.

Again, I was having so much fun I forgot to grab a set list.

I think I’m 90% right here when I say they played – not in any order – the following:

“Destroy All Monsters,” “Hell Patrol,” “The Power,” “Surf the Tsunami,” “Turn of the Screw,” “Faster than the Speed of Light,” “All for One,” “Rock Until You Drop,” “Mind Over Metal,” “All Hell’s Breaking Loose,” “On and On,” with a guitar solo and a bass solo.

Joining the Gallagher brothers on drums was Mike Heller of Fear Factory and he was a perfect fit.  Not crazy like helmet- wearing, cymbal smashing Rob Hunter “Wacko,” of the past, Heller was very precise and sturdy.

The lack of “Wacko’s” extreme antics wasn’t really missed on this night; it only made it easier to highlight the skill and personalities of the Gallagher brothers.

Having met the members of Raven 40 years ago, I wanted to say hello post-show.  Truth be told, I’m a little shy, so I waited off to the side for Mark and John to come out.

As soon as John and Mark came through the door, four grown men hustled in front of me, nearly pushing me out of the way, to meet the Gallagher brothers.  After all, they are considered the pioneers of the NWOBHM, and no one does their type of metal better.

Touting “50” (years) on the back of their tour shirts, of course I had to have one.

Post show they all took the time to sign old photos, talk with the fans, and it was evident that they absolutely love what they do.


Vicious Rumors


Photo Credit: Susie Welch