New York City was lucky enough to be one of the stops on Portugal. the Man’s intimate venue tour. Fans that spanned the entirety of the band’s existence filled the Bowery Ballroom. I stood next to this guy who had been listening to the band for years and was finally seeing them live, in the front row of course, for the first time. Talk about a great setting to see your favorite band in. Spider-like apparatuses lined with white globe lights spilled over the stage like bubbles in a bubble bath. They set the mood for what was going to be a crazy explosive set.
They made this show kind of like a gathering of friends. Instead of having an opener play before them, they had a bunch of their friends do short sets to warm up the crowd and introduce the fans to the creative people that they appreciate.
First up was funny guy Adam Tod Brown – editor and columnist for Cracked.com and host of Unpopular Opinion. Adam delighted the crowd with some crude/dark humor ending his set by reading a series of texts between him and someone who was trying to contact the previous owner of his telephone number – a high school prostitute.
East Flatbush native HDBeenDope started the music portion of the evening with an energetic rap set. I’m not a big rap fan, but I was actually about to appreciate his sound and found myself nodding along. Also, he has some DOPE dance moves…get it?
Portugal. the Man invited their friend, German “emo” rapper, Casper, to come on tour with them or as bassist Zach Carothers remembers –they got him drunk enough to play a few songs at one of their shows and dragged him along for the rest of the tour. The energy that Casper released while on stage was like a soda exploding – it went everywhere and clung to everyone as the crowd jumped in sync.
The lights were still down as Zach took a swig from a bottle of Jameson and the band emerged onto the stage. Portugal. the Man was just featured on a Drunken Masters track entitled “Louder” – an electronic/rock hit that is a different vibe for them but is super catchy. Beside that, the band hasn’t released anything new since their 2013 album Evil Friends so I was curious to see how the reception from the crowd would be and how the band would connect with them.
I was wrong to even have slight doubt that this show would be under-received – I mean it’s Portugal. the Man, one of the best live bands out there. The band was putting everything they had into every song and the crowd never stopped going crazy.
Being together for about 12 years has created an inseparable bond between the guys. Lead vocalist and guitarist John Gourley took the time to reflect on how lucky he was to be working with such talented musicians. “How cool is it that I get to hang out with the best drummer, the best guitarist, the best keyboard player and the best bassist,” John said. It’s pretty cool John, I wish I was you.
Head is a Flame (Cool With It)
Got it All (This Can’t be Living Now)
Creep in a T-Shirt/Someday Believers
Guns & Dogs
All Your Light (Times Like These)
Hip Hop Kids
Holy Roller (Hallelujah)
Purple Yellow Red Blue/Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Sea of Air
Article: Merissa Blitz