Words + Photo by Nadia Dar
This summer has created some of the most mind-blowing concert memories of my life, but there was still no one I was more excited to see this year than Portugal. The Man. These guys have been high up on my radar ever since the release of their 2011 album In The Mountain In the Cloud, so when I heard they were on tour in North America, I knew I had to go.
As soon as the band walked on stage at the Sound Academy, you immediately felt a rush of pure psychedelic energy; and when they started playing Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in The Wall’, it perfectly accented the effect they were going for. The intro then began to fuse into the beginning of ‘Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue’ and that’s when the crowd really perked up. Together the band managed to keep the fusion between the two songs evident while still entirely playing their own original song. It was beautifully crafted, and created an intoxicating experience to say the least.
Front man John Gourley seemed a bit elusive – he was dressed from head-to-toe in all black, the hood from his sweater up the entire time. Paired with his signature snapback and circular glasses on underneath, his rock-star look could not have been more iconic.
Bassist Zach Carothers created the ultimate harmony with just about every move Gourley made, and after being bandmates for over 10 years, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Neither said too much to the crowd, but what they lacked in words, they made up with killer stage presence.
Musically, the show itself was phenomenal. For all those who had pegged Portugal. The Man as a ‘studio band’, I sincerely urge you to check them out live because you could not be more mistaken. The set list featured songs mostly off their 2013 release Evil Friends, but they threw in one or two older singles and continued their trend of covering Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ about halfway through.
Overall, seeing Portugal. The Man was the perfect send-off to my summer concert itinerary. It was mesmerizing, energetic and thought-provoking all in one show, plus they somehow managed to surpass my already high expectations. Now THAT is a band worth seeing.
TheWaster.com | Toronto