Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man @ Webster Hall 6/3/2011
I had seen Portugal. The Man once before at Governor's Island in NYC, but the experience was not quite as exciting as the show at Webster Hall. Despite the show being free, I had just discovered them and had not learned to love them as much as I do now. I am the type of person that can truly enjoy a concert when I know and love the songs. This time around I was pumped and had bought my tickets three months in advance.

On the day of the show my friends and I left a little later then expected and missed the opening acts. This I was not so concerned about, but I knew it meant the place was already packed, and before I continue let me just say that being 5 feet tall means that it is MANDATORY that I get up front, so I had to really work my way up. The moment we got to will call and got our tickets I grabbed my friends hand and JETTED into the crowd. I made no apologies for those I shoved out of my way.

As if on cue, right at the moment I found my perfect spot, they walked onto the stage and played "How The Leopard Got Its Spots". All that anticipation and energy that I had to bottle inside during the car ride literally escaped as I jumped, waved my hands in air and sang to each and every single song.

They played an amazing set with at least two songs from every studio album including their new one, In The Mountain In The Cloud, which drops on July 19th. The energy of the crowd escalated one song after another, even during "Colors" which has a rather slower feel to it. They covered Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind” which was an interesting choice, adding their own touch to it. The lead singer’s (John Gourley) ability to sing in falsetto definitely helps in making the cover work.

What I love the most about watching Portugal. The Man play live is their continuation into the next song. The band has said in the past that the thing they love the most about playing live is being able to jam.

The different colored lasers that went with the music (and was also a nice touch for my photographs), as well as smoke from the fog machine enhanced the overall mood and environment of the place. One of their encore songs was “Chicago” that has the lyrics “I can’t hear with these clouds in my ears”, and I just remember an overwhelming amount of smoke that blew into the crowd the moment he sang those lyrics. I do not know if that was done on purpose, but I can only hope because I appreciate the little things that are incorporated into a show.

It was not only the band that made the night exciting but also the energy of the crowd. I remember specifically a guy next to me was rocking out to the show and at one point I really looked at him and thought, “this kid is on drugs!” I started looking around me noticed that he was not the only one. At that moment I envied them a little bit but the feeling left as fast as it came. I was a Portugal. The Man show. I did not need drugs. They are as amazing without them.

Overall, Portugal. The Man was worth the sweaty bodies rubbing up against me, and even that asshole who almost mauled me to get up closer when the band was trying to take a picture of the crowd.

Now, I leave you with this note. On Portugal. The Man’s Youtube channel, in their info section they wrote, “We make music and tour, that is all we want to do”. Enough said.

XX, Yvonne

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