First let me preface by saying I've seen Portugal. The Man on more than a handful of occasions since 2006. I believe they're such an underrated band that really does deserve a much larger fan base. I was extremely excited the amazing ACLTV people thought so too!
After catching their set at this year's Austin City Limits Festival, I came away more impressed than ever. I would even venture to say that their set was near the top of my favorites from the second weekend. So when I heard they'd be taping a show for the 39th season of Austin City Limits, it couldn't have been more perfect timing. Portugal. The Man twice in one month, yes please!
Taking my girlfriend Kali along for the show, we arrived at the Moody Theater a few minutes after 7. Having never heard them before this year's ACL, she thought their set was really entertaining at the festival and was looking forward to the show as well. The crowd definitely took their sweet time arriving to the venue, but once Portugal. The Man took the stage there wasn't a empty seat to be found. The band without even so much as a hello started off the night with "All Your Light" and I knew this was going to be a great show. I'm also pretty sure I've never seen such a long intro from any band playing on the famed ACL stage. It definitely got the crowd smiling and had them clapping enthusiastically along to the music. A few words were spoken here and there, but mostly it was all about the music for the band.
In a span of an hour and half, Portugal ran through new jams "Evil Friends" and "Modern Jesus", and even paid homage to Pink Floyd by including a verse and the chorus from "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" in their own hit, "Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue". The crowd was loving it!
The entire set focused on three of the band's albums: The Satanic Satanist, In The Mountain in the Cloud, and this year's Danger Mouse produced Evil Friends. PTM's most recent album was featured prominent in the performance, with definitely no complaints from yours truly. It's a really good album.
The band closed with the epic "Sleep Forever" and it couldn't have ended better. We had such a fun night! A great show by a solid band.
Special thanks as always to our gracious hosts at the ACL studios! Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being so awesome! You can also read their review of the taping and see more of Scott Newton's gorgeous photos here.
We can officially thank Belle and Sebastian for the reprieve from the summer heat. The lads from Scotland are officially taking responsibility for the uncharacteristic July rains. “These rain clouds have been following us around,” proclaimed front man Stuart Murdoch during one of his many addresses to the audience. Not that he needed to bribe the 2,700 attendees at the sold out show. The crowd was more than welcoming towards the band despite (or, because of) their 7 year Texas hiatus. The love went both ways as Stuart and Co. continuously engaged with the audience. From spotlighting the different venue sections, to holding hands with a fan, to joining the general admission assembly for a dance-along, audience participation was highly encouraged. By the time “The Boy With the Arab Strap” was performed, The Moody Theater had become a massive dance party, with a few people joining the band on stage.
The band covered their back catalogue pretty evenly. The set list included early favorites “If You’re Feeling Sinister," “The State I Am In,” and “Judy and the Dream Horses”; mid-career gems “If She Wants Me” and “Piazza, New York Catcher”; and later recordings “I Want the World to Stop” and “To Be Myself Completely.”
After returning to the stage following a particularly loud encore call (The Moody really does have great acoustics!), the band closed out the set with “The Blues are Still Blue” and “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying.”