For as much as I run around the city exclaiming that I heart this band, I have nothing on the fans that attended the Beaumont last night to see Portugal. The Man. The nearly sold out Beaumont was filled with patrons who spent the night pointing their faces to the ceiling and screaming the lyrics with their buddies. The night started rather calmly, with fans slowly filtering through the door. There was a DJ running small sets between the acts, provided by Jägermeister, who sponsored this tour, and ladies walking around advertising the drinking choice of 18 year olds. Portugal was opened with The Lonely Forest, another North Western band from Washington. The Lonely Forest was just recently in town on another Buzz show and received mighty praise for their set. This show did not disappoint. I was not present at the previous show and had not yet been introduced to their music but was very impressed with what they brought. The indie rock band performed songs from their new album, Arrows, available now, as well as older hits from previous work. I will definitely be checking out The Lonely Forest’s music and you should too. http://www.thelonelyforest.com/
Portugal. The Man had a fantastic stage set that did half of the work for them. There were what seemed like hundreds of globes strung up all over the stage and around the keyboard and drums last night, and even strung up to the ceiling over the crowd. It was unfortunate that at times it seems they didn’t want to work. Regardless, the crowd was entertained and the band seemed to be having a great time playing a near two hour set. Favorites like “Senseless” and “People Say” were crowd favorites and were definitely played to perfection. Although they played many of their hits from their latest album, In The Mountain, In The Cloud there were still plenty of gems for long time fans.
Their experimental sound resonates perfectly against the faces of the crowd and illuminates in coordination with the glowing orbs. However, to break them down to their most basic instincts, they are a jam band. They improvise their songs live, the stage is filled with sweat and they rock the crowd into a psychedelic trance each night. John Gourley’s haunting falsetto worked unusually well while the band effortlessly played homage to The Beatles with quick transitions from their own songs to “Helter Skelter” and “Hey Jude”.
Portugal. The Man are tailor cut for the indie hipsters everywhere, yet they also have the cohesiveness to appeal to a wider audience. The crowd showcased this theory with hipsters equally mingling with “bros” all singing the lyrics to “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)” in unison. Most of the songs rolled off the strings of the members’ instruments through out the set, but that’s not to say that at times a song or two didn’t drag along. Fan favorite “AKA M80 The Wolf” is a song they seem to enjoy jamming on for a while and it seemed to “jam” on for more than ten minutes.
Gourley took an interesting post on the far left of the stage, lending the center stage to backing vocalist and bassist Zachary Carothers. This seemed odd until I realized that my eyes were constantly being drawn to Carothers and his eccentric character. He appeared to almost do back flips on stage when he peeled back from picking the notes off his bass. He was also cursed with an infectious smile on his face all night. Gourley, however, reclused to the dark shadows and spent many moments playing with his back to the crowd.
Perhaps the introverted personality of Gourley is what makes this psychedelic night possible, not overdoing the theatrics so as to let the music speak for itself. Either way, the night was a feast for the eyes and one that I surely won’t see replicated anytime soon.
All Your Light (Times Like These)
Work All Day
The Devil/Helter Skelter
AKA M80 The Wolf
Floating (Time Isn’t Working My Side)
Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)
Everyone Is Golden
Head Is A Flame (Cool With It)
Bellies Are Full
Sleep Forever/Hey Jude
photos and story by Angela Davis