Portugal. The Man closed out the season at Forest Hills Stadium on a cool night, marking the beginning of autumn, on September 22nd. The band proved why they are a force to be reckoned with in alternative music, and are claiming their spot as giants in their own right. Their live show is truly one-of-a-kind, between the production, lights, and energy, it’s clear why fans queued all day for the show, and lost their minds during the performance.
Before the band even took the stage, bassist Zachary Carruthers came out to speak to the crowd. He talked about the band being from Alaska, and how their heritage has connected them to Native people, and tribes in this country, and how it is important for their voice to be heard. With that, the local tribe of Forest Hills, Queens came out to address everyone, and educate us, and share their customs and culture with a loving, and accepting, crowd of music fans.
My favorite part of this wonderful experience was the signs the children were holding on stage, which consisted of “Native lives matter,” “No more stolen sisters” and “Climate change is real.” This made me emotional; I was moved by the variety of generations standing there, and immersing us in their heritage. I think it is extremely commendable that Portugal. The Man is using their platform to speak up for and give space to indigenous tribes in each city of the tour, to speak about the issues that are important to them, and to be compassionate in a trying political time.
Do you “Feel It Still”? No, then re-watch the band’s video of the same name here!
Finally, it was time for PTM to take the stage, and boy did they come out with a bang. They started with a fun parody video of Beavis and Butthead projected on the screen behind them, joking about how Portugal. The Man has sold out, making fun of the variety of news articles coming out about that very subject since the band rose to stardom with “Feel It Still.” They proceeded to play a long instrumental medley, consisting of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica, and “Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2” by Pink Floyd, flowing seamlessly into their first original track of the night, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” Fans of all ages spanned the crowd, and everyone within view knew every single word. They warmed up the air with their voices.
For me, the biggest highlight of the night was watching the band play “Sea of Air,” one of their more stripped down tracks. It highlighted the soft intensity of John Gourley’s voice, while really showing off the instrumental ability of the band. Following that, there was a large instrumental breakdown, where the band truly jammed out and let loose. All is all, I highly suggest seeing Portugal. The Man live. They have an infectious live show that reminded me just why I love live music so much.