The first thing I notice when I walk into the Plaza Live venue on Friday night is an embroidered t-shirt at the merch table, “I knew Portugal. The Man before they played sold out shows.” Truth. 😎 It’s always a beautiful thing to witness a band you’ve followed for a while steadily become more successful each year. In comparison to the first time I saw Portugal. The Man at House of Blues Orlando in 2013 and a second time at Okeechobee Music Festival 2016, the turnout for this year’s show was incredible.
Based in one of the most telescopic parts of the United States — Alaska — Portugal. The Man delivers a slew of psychedelic fun to Orlando tonight. The group’s concoction of sound, visuals, vocals, and energy keeps a lively flow throughout the show. The boys perform some of their older songs, like “Noise Pollution,” “Hip Hop Kids,” “So American,” and “Evil Friends,” along with a smooth blend of their new music. We hear instrumentals draw near for the beginning of their newest single, “Feel It Still.” Feet are moving and hips are stirring. Everyone at this show is already lost in the music, simply enjoying themselves and their surrounding company. It’s wonderful.
For some reason, I always find psychedelic shows to be more stimulating than other types of shows. Whether it’s the people, the atmosphere, the prismatic visuals, or the balance of chill and upbeat moods, there is constantly a component to appreciate. For me, it is the amount of vibrant colors and morphing images I see: spinning naked babies, descending multi-colored slime, flashing cubes, and a lot of gooey bodies. A nice touch Portugal. The Man adds to their live performance is revealing the title of their upcoming song in a groovy typography in the background. Before music even begins, fans automatically knew which song was up next and would let out an excited whoop to set the tone.
spinning naked babies, descending multi-colored slime, flashing cubes, and a lot of gooey bodies.”
Multiple colors appear during the show, but “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue” are my favorites. The band closes out the show with their most noteworthy song, “Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue” — The boys brought their opener, HDBeenDope, a rapper from Brooklyn, to join in alongside them onstage during the chorus, which made for a unique rendition of the song. The track starts out the way we expect, but it’s not until the boys start fiercely jamming out towards the end when people started going crazy. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboard solos — we heard it all. For a band who all met each other and formed in high school, it felt like I was a fly on the wall in their garage eavesdropping in on a spontaneous jam session during an early band practice.
After the ridiculous set-closing performance, without warning the audience demands an encore. Portugal came back for one last song, “Atomic Man,” and say their final goodbyes. Days have passed and my friends and I are still talking about this show.
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