Portugal. The Man‘s “Live In The Moment” from their latest album, Woodstock, opens with this line: “My home / Is a girl with eyes like wishing wells.” On Friday, August 24th, their home town of Portland, OR welcomed them with thousands of keenly fixated eyes all gazing at a wish come true. Portland has always championed their own kind, and two back-to-back sold out shows at McMenamins Edgefield is far from surprising for the PDX veterans. Despite their mainstream success over the last couple years, PTM have never forgotten where they came from. From constantly collaborating with other local artists, to hanging out with Blazers players, they’ve distinctly established themselves as the true Lords of Portland. With this undeniable homestead fellowship, there was eager anticipation that these shows would make for a rowdy weekend with numerous special surprises.
Starting off the night was a fellow celebrated Portland act, Ural Thomas & the Pain, a soulful troupe led by an undeniably charming and amiable crooner. Despite the aching feeling their name depicts, they profess nothing but tenderness and love. Singing of good vibrations and putting smiles on the faces of their loved ones and fans alike, the octet quickly established a friendly relationship with the crowd. They professed excitement and gratitude for their wailing fans as drummer and vocalist Scott Magee mentioned between songs, “Hey Ural, I think this is the biggest crowd we ever played for!” While Ural echoed later, “You don’t know how much I love you all.” With the contagiously jovial energy oozing from their soulful set, the Edgefield crowd was quickly warmed up for the evening.
When the sunlight dimmed and the backdrop projector lit up on stage, the crowd erupted in an uproar of anticipation. Portugal. The Man kicked things off by playing the video for their signature hit, “Feel It Still.” Band members then poured onto set and quickly shifted gears into an instrumental medley flowing between Metallica‘s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” to Pink Floyd‘s “Another Brick in the Wall,” before finally sliding into their own “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue.” PTM rolled through a barrage of energetic motion and bursting lights while the backdrop was flooded with a myriad of colorful visuals.
Throughout the show, they brought out gem after gem of guest appearances. First it was the Blazers cheerleaders, complete with a t-shirt cannon. (I’m told Blazers star point guard Damien Lillard made an appearance at the Saturday show, but sadly not the one I attended).
Next up was Atlanta rapper ILOVEMAKONNEN with a guest performance of the hit “(Going Up On A) Tuesday,” provoking fans to blow up with this Tuesday-caliber energy magnified to the status of a Friday.
PTM then presented another Portland hero in Chris Funk of the Decemberists. Funk planted himself in center center stage, aiding in guitar stylings to multiple tracks.
Throughout their set, the Lords cycled through a wide range of songs spanning the greater mass of their catalogue including “Creep in a T-Shirt,” “Modern Jesus,” “Sea of Air,” “Holy Roller,” and many others. As always, they were backed by witty banter displayed in text against the screen, as has become a signature staple at their performances. “Ya’ll like smokin’ weed? Gettin’ fucked up? Discussing politics at family gatherings? That’s badass.” During “Feel It Still,” the screen displayed, “Your mom loves this song.” And they’re right, my mom does love that song.
As always, Portugal. The Man delivered a performance that was unlike any experience you could possibly discover listening to their records alone. Despite recycling some of the same antics from previous shows, they were incredibly engaging and offered a fresh take on their art with unique twists and surprises. As locals, hometown heroes, and Lords, they absolutely embody the excitement, diversity, and exclusively peculiar character that makes Portland the amazing place it is. See more pics from the show below.