Band smoothly splices genres
Alaskan natives Portugal. The Man brought psychedelic sound on Sunday to the Meridian. It’s tough to classify the group into any genre, as it can get restricting. The band merges soul, classic rock and jazz into a melting pot of all of its different influences.
The band has a jam-band mentality, and is now known for turning four-minute songs into seven or eight-minute features while managing to fly through songs spanning its entire discography. Portugal. The Man’s sound has drastically changed from the electronic-heavy Waiter, You Vultures!. However, they have reworked many of those songs, which in turn allowed the songs to mesh well with the band’s new classic-rock and soul sound. Among those reworks are "Tommy" and "Marching With 6," both old fan favorites.
Also revisited was 2007’s Church Mouth, as the band opened with the title track and played "Mind" and "Bellies Are Full." The band is more or less in support of its recently released Censored Colors. The "ba-da-da-da’s" of the highly addictive "Lay Me Back Down" had a good crowd reaction, along with "1989" and "Out and In and In and Out."
The band has a very eclectic sound, and their live show incorporates everything from maracas to the Rhodes keyboard to tambourines. Local soul singer Kam joined the group on stage as well, and provided backing vocals to accentuate their sound. The stage show itself was aesthetically pleasing. On display were colorful strobes to coincide with "Censored Colors," along with of machines and spotlights.
The openers were a little underwhelming with the exception of Wintersleep, which brought its Canadian rock sound to life, and played songs off of 2007’s Welcome to the Night Sky. Meanwhile, locals Heist at Hand opened the show and welcomed the crowd to a generic and typical set.
The biggest nuisance of the night was Earl Greyhound. The New York rock band seemed to be confused as to what genre they should be playing. Whereas Portugal. The Man blends genres that are remotely related, Earl Greyhound tries to mesh hard rock fueled by screaming with soul and pop. Not only was it awkward, it was obnoxious. The group seemed to be a little self-absorbed, as it caused the entire show to run late with their sound check, and played over their allotted time slot.
Aside from Earl Greyhound, Portugal. The Man managed to put together a solid tour, considering the opening bands were relatively unknown. Portugal. The Man is definitely a must-see live band for any fan of music, and when it treks to Houston in the future, be sure to check it out.
Censored Colors is in stores now.