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Review: Portugal. The Man at The Vogue



Portugal. The Man with The Lonely Forest
Monday, April 16 at The Vogue

Amidst a string-of-pearls-on-steroids light show courtesy of the Jägermeister Music Tour, Portland-based Portugal. The Man brought their brand of all-American rock to The Vogue Monday night.

The band, which has achieved moderate success through a string of solid albums, performed a tight show in spite of recent disruption in the band's lineup. Songs like "All Your Light (Times Like These)" showcased interplay between John Baldwin Gourley's upper vocal range and bassist Zachary Carothers' baritone; the song was also one of the rare times in the show when the band briefly jammed in intense My Morning Jacket-style guitar freakouts.

Portugal. The Man's well-produced albums translated impressively to the stage in songs like the Bowie-esque "So American," which sounded as good as if it had been played straight off of its 'In the Mountain in the Cloud' LP. Ditto that album's "Head is a Flame (Cool with It)."

Portugal. The Man's mix of 70's heavy metal (the stomp of "Bellies are Full" could prime today's youth for early Sabbath), muddy blues, and funky drumming ("My Mind") was preceded nicely by Washington's The Lonely Forest, who - though they had no problems rocking out - leaned toward the lighter Coldplay/Death Cab/Vampire Weekend end of the rock spectrum. Their set closer, "We Sing In Time," is a fine earworm, and like the rest of the songs they played, was performed intensely and humbly sung by John Van Deusen. Plus, drummer Braydn Krueger sported a Joy Formidable shirt, which I can't argue with.

Before both bands' sets, Mr. Dee Jay (aka Brian Barr) spun tracks by Ghostland Observatory, Fischerspooner, Passion Pit and more, keeping ears occupied while omnipresent Jägermeister Music Tour decorations provided something to look at.


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