Portugal. The Man
May 1, 2018
Portugal. The Man
Psychedelic glam rock.
Bombastic self-indulgent EDM brats?
One hit wonder?
Could a band care less about your futile attempt at labeling?
Going by Portugal. The Man’s live incarnation at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, the band seems to be clearly know where it stands, embraces what fame brought them without diluting the DNA that forms the core of why they set out to play music in the first place.
Yup, they are commercially successful via a hybrid of Pharrell’s patented pop hymn and a more than obvious homage to the Marvelettes, i.e. “Feel it still”, and decidedly went on to fry bigger fishes than the alternative rock crowd, yet has retained an edge.
What makes a band like PTM interesting is that they seem to have an intrinsically instilled sense of resistance pervading every note, which they somehow marry adequately to the need to partay, no matter how much their defiance of boundaries is being defied by the mainstream.
In a live environment, Portugal. The Man is one hell of a tight band that is both musically adept and fun to watch.
A myriad of references, homages and cover versions are weaved into the set, which demonstrates not only a band that has its tongue firmly placed in cheek, but also shows awareness of their roots and an astute sense of localizing their place in the canon of rock music.
The set flows along a stream-of-consciousness, seamlessly transitioning between heavier tunes and groovy crowd pleasers as well as what seems to be improvised parts and delivering the goods to the willing masses.
A band that is firmly in touch with who they are, and more importantly what they despise and do not want to be.
Framed by an animated backdrop of psychedelic projections, strobe lights and a kaleidoscopic mélange of colours, the band also created a visually appealing aesthetic that enhanced their musical emissions.
Yes, this is a recommendation to go see them live whenever they come near your neck of the woods.
Photos by @k.a.vv