Portugal. The Man and Grouplove is a tour that should have happened long ago. Two incredibly talented bands that have built a following the “old fashioned” way; relentless touring, and epic live performances. These two are a match made in rock n roll heaven. So it only made sense for the smart folks at Honda to bring them together for an epic summer outing.
Although it was a co-headlining gig, Grouplove took the stage first. I saw these guys (and a girl) almost a year ago hear in San Francisco and they were good, but my god what a difference a year can make. The songs, the energy, the bombastic-ness all went to eleven this time around. It’s going to be interesting watching this band expand their sound over the next couple of records, but I dig their quirky pop and think they have dug out a pretty unique niche for themselves here.
The real star of the evening though was Portugal. The Man. Holy f*ck these guys were amazing. I mean, I would easily put them as one of the top five shows of 2014. There are not too many bands out there today that can create the type of retro-Pink Floyd-esche – dreamy disco psychedelic jams the way these guys do. I caught myself watching the show but also looking around to make sure that everyone in the pavilion was appreciating the spectacle and immense amount of talent that was gracing the stage during their hour long set.
I woke up on Monday morning and went straight to Newbury Comics and picked up Portugal’s entire catalog and I have been celebrating it the entire week. I can’t help but think how these guys have have completely done what MGMT was supposed to do; evolve. MGMT lost themselves in a weird transition of giant cowbells and songs that stopped making sense. Portugal. The Man kept their weird vibe but pulled in some of the most epic songwriting I have ever heard in my life. I read somewhere that their next album was going to sound something like The Dark Side of the Moon, and I thank the rock gods above for sending someone to save us from the musical mediocrity that is currently consuming the scene.
Jesus, I’m starting to sound like a critic here. Anyway, if you missed this show or worse yet missed this band, do yourself a favor and pick up their 2013 masterpiece Evil Friends. I think it’s one of the best records of the past decade and the live show backs it up.
Last but not least a quick shout out to Honda as they have been doing some really cool stuff for music over the years. In many ways you could say that they are a lifeline to the imploding major labels. Honda’s brand of innovation and hipness brings a welcomed community of support to an industry that desperately needs an audience.
PORTUGAL. THE MAN
The Honda Civic tour wrapped up the Summer leg last week with in Boston and New York City, I was fortunate enough to catch the Boston gig. The tour continues with American Authors throughout October.
Check out more photos of Grouplove in the Gallery here.
Check out more photos from Portugal. The Man in the Gallery here.