Thursday, April 11, 2024

Alice Phoebe Lou

Sam Burton

7 pm doors, 8 pm show

$30 advance, $33 day of show

All ages welcome

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Alice Phoebe Lou

Alice Phoebe Lou

“There’s something so beautiful about letting the people in your life grow. Whether they’re your friends, your family or musicians you look up to, letting them change and leave some things behind is so powerful,” says Alice Phoebe Lou.

The musician is well aware that it’s oh-so-human to long for the comfort of nostalgia. In recent months, she's been wrestling with who she was when she first started releasing music back in 2016 and who she’s become since. “I’m about to turn 30 but people still associate me with that young, sweet girl,” she explains. “As you get older, you sing about more mature themes but some people actively push against that because it’s not what I symbolise to them.” On new album ‘Shelter’, Alice has no interest in people pleasing. “It’s a record about how growth and change are so important.”

Alice Phoebe Lou started playing music as a busker after moving from South Africa to Berlin in 2012 and falling in love with a lifestyle that could be so self-determined. At first, it was just a way to earn enough money to pay rent but it quickly evolved into something more. Busking, she explains, “is hard and fucking humiliating. People will shout at you, men will harass you, competition for a spot to perform can be vicious…I had countless situations where people were just the worst. But then you have those shining moments where you genuinely move somebody. I knew that if I worked on my music, it could be something beautiful.”

Debut album ‘Orbit’ came in 2016 and saw Alice “piece together the possibility” of music turning into a proper career while 2019’s ‘Paper Castles’ cemented her as a talented, exciting musician. With a busker’s mentality about needing to win people over immediately, Alice only gave herself “permission to write without the fear of judgment” on 2021’s ‘Glow’. That record and surprise follow-up ‘Child’s Play’ allowed Alice to go “super deep and vulnerable. I think people really connected with me speaking about personal, painful, tragic things that sometimes feel too embarrassing to say out loud,” she explains. “Those two albums felt like a reckoning.”

By contrast, ‘Shelter’ is a celebration. “It’s much more self-assured and direct,” says Alice. “That’s an exciting energy to bring to the table.”

Broadly speaking, Alice Phoebe Lou’s fifth album sees her going through a second coming of age. After living in Berlin for the past ten years, she unexpectedly found herself without a place to call home last May. At the same time, Alice had just started writing what would become ‘Shelter’, with the first few songs confronting her past and trying to make peace with the traumas instead of simply eviscerating them. “It was very isolating, lonely and weird,” she explains but ultimately ‘Shelter’ is about “coming to that place within yourself and intentionally deciding that wherever you are, that is home and that is enough.”

‘Open My Door’ is a conversation between Alice’s younger self and who she is now while ‘Lose My Head’ is about wanting to be intimate with other people, but also needing to be yourself. “It’s about loving and wanting as well as the push and pull of passion,” she explains. Rather than a deep dive into those contradictions though, one of the most powerful moments of the song sees Alice just screaming. “It feels like a purge,” she says.

Like most songs on ‘Shelter’, ‘Lose My Head’ started with Alice sitting with her guitar, feeling the music and singing whatever came out. “Some of the things you say are completely weird but when you get into a flow, that stream of consciousness can be really enlightening,” she continues. As a result, ‘Lose My Head’ feels like a spiritual, emotional release.

And she wants to leave space for others to feel that catharsis. “I continually strive to show people the beauty of being vulnerable and feeling all their feelings,” she offers.

Despite the weird time Alice was going through, ‘Shelter’ never feels too heavy, with the record championing healing yourself, confronting all the things you’ve been through and making peace with them. “It’s about nurturing your inner child and dealing with the painful human experiences that come from just existing. It’s about forgiving the world and forgiving yourself to create safety and a home within yourself,” she says. “I had to do that in order to not feel like everything was just fucking collapsing around me and you know what? It's been a really beautiful thing.”

Alice Phoebe Lou admits she’s still confused about the next step though. “Sometimes it feels like I’m falling but other times I’m really inspired by the black hole abyss of what comes next. Really, anything could happen,” she grins, finding that open-endedness incredibly inspiring.

“It's an exciting time to be a female artist in the world right now,” she adds. “I feel really optimistic about the fact that those archaic ideas about relevance based on age are becoming less of a real factor. There's just so much more chaos in the mix, where you and your audience are in control.” It’s one of the reasons she’s remained an independent artist, despite years of big record labels offering to make her dreams come true. She loves turning them down. “I just don't need the noise and I don't need people telling me what to do or how to do it.”

She’s always been determined but there’s a newfound confidence to Alice Phoebe Lou. She’s entirely self-taught and for years, as she progressed from street corners to dingy clubs to festival stages and beyond, she felt that lack of musical training meant she was in a lower league to other musicians. “Music was definitely not what I thought I was going to do with my life. I just didn't think I was good enough” and because she started playing music quite late, she felt like she was constantly playing catch-up. Going into ‘Shelter’ though, Alice realised that her intuitive approach to music is a superpower. “I’m able to be sincere, vulnerable and really trust myself. Hopefully that gives other people permission to do the same. There's no shame in being full of feelings.”

Alice Phoebe Lou may be entering a new phase of her life and her career, but her ambitions haven’t changed much. “The world is constantly telling you to think bigger, to take the opportunities that you've got and find ways to multiply them, but all that feels quite gluttonous,” she explains, wanting to channel any success into building a studio to help speed up her own creative process and maybe release music by other artists. “I feel like I’ve arrived somewhere,” she adds. “I hope young people can be inspired by the fact you can do things unconventionally, if you want.”


About Mission Theater

Experience a slice of Portland history. What is now known simply as “the Mission” was originally home to the Swedish Mission Covenant congregation in the early 20th century, and despite its staid, buttoned up appearance, this place now hosts live music, video dance nights and special events on select nights each month. 

For ADA accommodations please contact us by email at or by phone at (503) 225-0047. Please note we are only able to accommodate in this section until it is at capacity.

House Rules

As our guest, please respect the house and ensure the safety and comfort of those around you by observing our House Rules. 
  • Backpacks are not permitted.
  • Re-entry policy is determined on the day of the show, and we can't guarantee that re-entry will be permitted.
  • Possession or use of illegal substances
  • Possession or use of permanent markers or paint pens
  • Possession of any type of weapon
  • Possession or use of false identification
  • Willful damage to the property
  • Cursing or verbal harassment towards other customers or staff
  • Inconsiderate behavior towards other customers or staff
  • Any form of inappropriate, racial or physical harassment , including displaying symbols that the venue deems to be threatening
  • Intoxication before entry
  • Consumption of any alcoholic beverage not purchased on premise
  • Smoking in non-designated areas
  • Violence of any nature
  • Thank you for your help in making the Mission Theater safe, comfortable and fun for all.

Box Office

Box Office Information
Tickets for all McMenamins shows are ticketed by Cascade Tickets, and may be purchased at the 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop, Crystal box office (located under the Crystal's awning) and McMenamins Edgefield, by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX, or by clicking the "Buy Tickets" link located at the event listing on our schedules.
Tickets bought directly at the Crystal box office or any of our ticket outlets will only incur a $2 facility charge. (Please note! Tickets to Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn will incur additional service fees.)
Resend Ticket Confirmation Email
23rd Avenue Bottle Shop Hours
Sunday–Thursday, 10am - 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 10am - 11pm
The bottle shop accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and DiscoverCard.
Crystal Ballroom Box Office Hours
2pm on concert days only
Will Call
Will call is located at the box office.
Refund requests may be directed to If a show is cancelled or rescheduled, ticketholders will be emailed with their refund options. We will also post show information on our website ( and social media platforms. 
For ADA accommodations please contact us by email at or by phone at (503) 225-0047. Please note we are only able to accommodate in this section until it is at capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have questions about your box office and ticketing … where do I find that info?
Scroll up and check out our Box Office info! If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you might find your answer below, and if not then feel free to shoot us an email.

What seating is available?
The Mission Theater specializes in open-floor shows, but also has a mezzanine on three sides with seating throughout. Occasionally the main floor will feature seating as well, and we will indicate this by referring to the event as a “seated event.”

The mezzanine sounds cool! Can I reserve seats there? 
No, our seats are all first-come, first-served. 
I don’t like to buy tickets online; where can I buy in person at the Mission? 
The Mission does not have its own outlet, but tickets for Mission shows (and any McMenamins music events) are available at the outlets describe above in the Box Office section. 
I heard that fees are lower if I buy tickets in person … is this true? Yup, the fee is only two bucks for Mission shows if you buy those tickets in person at our outlets. PLEASE NOTE: Since Crystal Ballroom box office hours are very limited, here’s a pro tip for ya: purchase your tickets at our outlet at 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop to receive the same fee deal. 
Help, I can’t find my tickets! Can you resend/email them to me?
Even better, just go to and provide your email address as well as the last 4 digits of the card used for purchase. A ticket confirmation will be sent to you.
I have a printed at home ticket … can you just scan the original email from my phone? 
We’re able to scan ticket barcodes from most phones…. Make sure your brightness is turned up for best results! If that doesn’t work we will be able to enter your ticket’s order number into the system and get you into the show that way. 
I can’t make the show; can I get a refund? 
We are not able to offer refunds. If you opted to purchase insurance through our ticketing company as part of your ticket purchase, you should have received an email from Allianz Global  Assistance and you can file a claim with them directly. You are also welcome to sell your tickets.

Someone sold two tickets to me for tomorrow's show. When I arrive at the venue, will there be any issues since I wasn't the original buyer? 
We are unable to determine the validity of third party tickets. Also, a ticket may be scanned only once for entry. If your ticket was purchased from someone who sold the tickets to multiple parties, only the first person who shows up will be granted entry. 

Are there still tickets / VIP tickets to a show?
You can check this by finding the show on the Mission Theater online calendar and clicking the ticket link, where availability information will be displayed. 
I couldn’t get a ticket for a sold-out show. Is there any way I can get one?
The best we can say is that sometimes the artist or promoter will release some tickets that they’ve been holding onto. We can’t predict, however, if or when that might happen. 
How do you accommodate for ADA?
For ADA accommodations please contact us by email. Please note we are only able to accommodate until the ADA section is at capacity.

I understand there are stairs leading into the Mission’s main floor. Do you have accessibility options? 
Yes, we are wheelchair accessible. We have a ramp leading to our side entrance on 17th Avenue; just let security at the front door know you need ramp access. 
Can I bring my camera to a show? 
While we don’t have specific house policy, we do enforce the band’s policies, and we don’t typically know those policies until the day of the show. Usually only phones or small handheld cameras are allowed, but all attendees are subject to the stipulations from the band. Professional camera gear is almost never permitted. 
Are Light Gloves allowed?

 Is there a coat check?
There is no coat check at the Mission Theater. 
What’s your re-entry policy?
Due to a variety of factors in play for each performance, re-entry policy is determined on the day of the show, and we can’t guarantee that re-entry will be permitted. Please see our House Rules (above) for additional important entry-based information.
I’m interested in performing at your venue; who can I contact?
You can email
I want to work at the Mission Theater! 
We want to hear from you! Please check out our employment page and apply there!
I want to hold a private event in that glorious space!
Please visit our private event page for details! We have a dedicated staffer that can help with weddings, meetings, parties, you name it!
What is the venue capacity?
300 standing, 200 seated
Do you have air conditioning?
We do indeed have air conditioning, but there’s a LOT of air in the room and it can be tricky to keep the space cool. We set up water stations at our shows, and you are permitted to bring your own empty water bottle to fill there so you can stay hydrated. 
How do I get my McMenamins passport stamped?
Mission Theater stamps are only provided at the bar in the venue, and you must attend an event in order to receive one! If there’s no show or a show is sold out then you’re out of luck for that night, so plan ahead and pick a show from our fine selection of upcoming events! Another option is to wait for our occasional open houses or other free events, as we issue stamps for those events as well. 


The location that serves as one of McMenamins favorite neighborhood theater pubs was the locus of great spiritual zeal beginning in the 1890s. That's when the Swedish Evangelical Mission established its church here....

From a church to a theater-pub to event space, the Mission's history ain't exactly saintly. Click here for more info!


Use the arrows to scroll through the photos, or click on any image to view the gallery in flickr.

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