Saturday, October 24, 2009

Live Review - Portugal the Man @ Apple SoHo

I might as well have moved into the Apple store in SoHo these past two days. Two free early concerts from two of the most talked about bands on the scene. After Thursday's calming performance by The xx, Friday was followed by Alaska via Portland band, Portugal the Man. Portugal the Man is a band I have gotten to know pretty well these past few months. After seeing them at Lollapalooza and interviewing singer John Baldwin Gourley, I had to catch their set. Currently on a sold out tour with Hockey, Portugal the Man performed an unreal semi-acoustic set at Apple Store.
Back in my comfortable chair, the band was right in front, even with a set of non fully electric instruments, they still managed to blow the crowd's mind. More people crammed into the store for Portugal the Man, than for The xx, and the band was super humble and grateful for everyone coming. This was a taping for iTunes, but could have easily been broadcast on MTV's now defunct Unplugged series. Playing a 45 minutes set and a majority of tunes from their latest, The Satanic Satanist, Portugal the Man did what they do best, perform great music. Backed by a violinist, the band declared she had not rehearsed with them and was winging the set. Performing in front of screen playing home video's of the band playing like children in the Alaskan snow, Portugal the Man stuck to their guns and still showed that visuals are an important part of who they are as much as the music that defines them. It amazes me this band is not bigger than they already are.

Listen to my interview with John Baldwin Gourley HERE.