The Lords of Portland Reign in Detroit
It means something to play a show in Detroit not just one of the many suburbs surrounding Detroit, but right in the home of Motown. There's grit and electricity in this city that you can't find anywhere else. When you play a show in Detroit even the suburban kids put on their Detroit faces. Detroit gave us the Bad Boys and the Grind Line, they like their music with an edge. Bands that work hard get rewarded in Detroit. To borrow the cliché, if you can make it in Detroit you can make it anywhere.
Perhaps then it shouldn't come as a surprise that Portugal. The Man played to a sold out crowd at Detroit's historic Majestic Theater. The band has rarely left the road since the release of their celebrated LP Evil Friends in June of 2013 and during that time they have truly perfected their live show. For this show the band played a string of songs off the aforementioned LP and the equally fantastic In the Mountain In the Cloud that instantly had the crowd signing along.
Portugal. The Man is not the typical rock show that you may have come to expect. There's no crescendo and no real quiet moments either. That's not to say the band lacks energy but rather instead of immense highs or lows the band plays with an unrelenting groove. Perhaps in the age of instant outrage where everyone seems to exist at different extremes their music is a breathe of fresh air. For this tour the band has added an impressive visual display lighting up the stage with a huge projector and keeping the band members only occasionally lit up. It creates some amazing visuals and really accentuates the vibe the band brings to their songs. This night found the band in fine form and the energy from the city and crowd seemed to push the band to another place.
Perhaps no band today embodies the spirit of Pink Floyd more than Portugal. The Man and so when the brief "Another Brick in the Wall" intro leads into Purple Yellow Red and Blue it feels right. The band also played two new songs off of an as of yet unnamed future release. The first track "Noise Pollution" finds the band exploring new musical soundscapes and the second track "Feel it Still" is so good the band played it twice choosing to bring it back as the closeout to their encore. That track has been climbing up the Indie charts recently and deservedly so. It captures a very retro vibe while managing to feel completely authentic something few bands have been able to pull off successfully. If these two new tracks are any indication fans will really have something in store for the next record. The songs certainly added a new dynamic to their live performance that had the crowd signing the whole time.