Portugal. The Man are embracing their ‘overnight success’ and putting on a damn good show while they’re at it

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Portugal. The Man are embracing their ‘overnight success’ and putting on a damn good show while they’re at it


Their merch included shirts that read “I liked Portugal. The Man before they sold out” and their intro labels them “The Greatest band in the Universe”. PTM are having a lot of fun with their current situation, and why wouldn’t they be?


Storming out of the blocks with a blistering cover of Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, and following up with Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2’, the tone was set early that this wouldn’t be your ordinary gig, and it definitely wasn’t.


Throughout the night, the band partook in almost no stage banter, instead relying on pre-typed messages and one-liners on the screen behind them. The screen mostly showed strange and downright creepy imagery, which combined with the written quips, could be quite jarring. They also took time for some very extended jam sessions, so much so that the crowd became restless, resulting in a lowlight in what was otherwise a very complete performance.


PTM seem to only have two speeds; whip through a song with no extra flair or special moments, or stretch it to ten minutes with multiple extended breaks throughout. This approach sometimes got a bit confusing as it was hard to know what you were going to get as each track started.


But once the tunes started coming, the crowd came right with them and became an all-singing, all-dancing mob. ‘Live in the Moment’ and ‘Creep in a T-Shirt’ came as a one-two punch before they performed another cover, this time T-Rex’s ‘Children of the Revolution’.


When the time came to play “that song” everyone has been unable to escape for the last month, the crowd showed every bit of appreciation and gave their loudest cheer for the night. While ‘Feel It Still’ was placed inconspicuously in the middle of the set and played in the “whip through it with little-to-no fanfare” gear of the band, it didn’t matter to the people in attendance, as they soaked up every second they could of that catchy bass line.


With the majority of the set consisting of tracks from the critically acclaimed 2013 album Evil Friends, PTM made sure there was enough for fans both old and new. By the time they closed the main part of their set with a singalong cover of The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’, the crowd were begging for an encore.


The boys from Alaska duly obliged and finished strong with three more songs, closing on the soaring ‘Holy Roller, sending the already happy crowd home even happier. You can’t help but get right into a band who seem to be having so much fun doing what they do.


Highlight – The fantastic Metallica cover.

Lowlight – Overly extending jam sections when such a great back catalogue exists.

Crowd Favourite – ‘Feel It Still’.