Portugal. The Man @ Granada
Photo by: Bill Ellison of Granada Theater
You’re looking into the beautiful yet unforgiving landscape of the Alaskan wilderness: daunting mountains, frozen rivers, miles of undisturbed alabaster snow. The protagonist (lead singer and guitarist, John Gourley) is preparing for a journey with nothing but a rifle, a sled and his dogs. He sets off, and stops for nothing but to eat and make camp for the night. He wakes up to find one of his dogs has been killed, and the rest are missing. Wielding his gun he goes out in search of them. After what seems like hours of looking he hears barking in the distance. With his spirits heightened he uses all of his exhausted energy to run toward the sound. Frantically fighting through thick snow and fatigue he has a hard time staying on his feet, but the barking is getting louder. Just as he is about to reach them he trips and shoots himself in the face. The dogs discover his body and eat his brain. Read the review of the show after the jump.
This is a brief summary of the video they had projected on a screen in front of them as they introduced two songs off of their upcoming album In the Mountain, In the Cloud, “Sleep Forever” and “Got it All.” The video was unique, artistic, and unexpected… which is exactly what you could expect from a band like Portugal. The Man. They are known for incorporating aspects of several genres of music into their sound, such as psychedelic rock, blues and alt-country, and the set for the evening served as a generous helping of all of them.
As the screen lifted you were hit with a foggy mist as sporadic green and purple lasers scanned your face like a bar code. Together with the colorful backdrop of melted, disfigured faces you almost regretted not dropping acid before the show. The band started off strong with a one-after-another set-tempo with no room for frills in between. If you weren’t being pierced by John Gourley’s falsetto voice there wasn’t much dialogue going on.
The energy started to climax mid-set with the triple entendre “The Sun,” “The Home,” and “The Woods” off their album The Satanic Satanist. Everyone was singing along, and you could feel the “hippie vibe” through the crowd, which is connoted by the titles of the songs themselves. The band kept the energy going through the end of the set with serenading guitar riffs on “Created,” groovy, psychedelic instrumental jams on “Colors,” and a delightful, bluesy homage to Etta James on a cover of “I’d Rather Go Blind.” In two hours of smoke-filled, laser-beaming awesomeness they showed us a fantastic display of their talent, range, and capabilities. And there is just more to come.
As already mentioned they have a new album coming out July 19th, In the Mountain, In the Cloud. They will be finishing their U.S. tour at Bonaroo on June 10th before they head to Europe. If you already missed them but have plans to attend Bonaroo I highly recommend them.