Portugal. The Man with Superhumanoids @ The Observatory, Santa Ana 10/27/13
Portugal. The Man has seen a great amount of success this past year with the release of their most recent album Evil Friends. PTM has had their music made available to a wider variety of listeners by being played on the radio. This extra exposure has lead to a consistent amount of sold out shows while on tour and their stop at The Observatory in Santa Ana was no different. The venue was busy for a Sunday evening with The Blow playing in their smaller room.
The venue was almost full as LA’s Superhumanoids began their ambitious set. Sarah Chernoff led their dreamy synth pop, singing a majority of songs from their first full length album Exhibitionists, released earlier this year. The big mountain-shaped light display was something hard to ignore during Superhumanoids’ set.
Portugal. The Man took to a dark stage with the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.” The tension and anticipation built as the Alaskan band began with “Purple Yellow Red And Blue” mixed directly into “All Your Light (Times Like These),” which included lyrics from “The Home.” This was all so intelligently composed to sound like one epic song while the background lit up in an amazing array of patterns and colors.
The big mountain provided the perfect settings and moods according to the emotion or tempo of each song. The band wasted no time in between songs, not allowing those in attendance to recollect themselves before jumping into “Evil Friends,” which caused a dance frenzy to spread throughout the venue. During this song, the band blended in their version of “Day Man” from the comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Portugal. The Man’s stage presence was of epic proportions, with a five member layout. The original four piece was joined by Zoe Manville on vocals, keyboards, and tambourine. This helped the band pull off a twelve minute song that again saw them so wisely blend three songs (“So American,” “People Say,” and “Guns and Dogs”) into each other. Amongst all the cheers at the conclusion of the song, bassist Zach Carothers took a moment by thanking everyone and acknowledging that it was the last night of their tour.
“Atomic Man” followed with impressive guitar playing by John Gourley and Carothers providing tambouring during the chorus then switching back to bass. The band decided to give the crowd a breather by playing “The Sun.” A gigantic crowd participating sing along ensued, while many tried to emulate Gourley’s soulful voice. “Got It All” received an extended vocal harmony, that led into “When The War Ends” with an outro of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” The mood in the venue mirrored the joyful spirits of the musicians on stage and this continued throughout the hour-long set. “Creep In A T-Shirt” saw a small mosh pit erupt mid floor, but quickly calmed when the band band began “Someday Believers.”
The band concluded their set playing Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Pt.2” as an intro into the remainder of “Purple Yellow Red And Blue,” that they had began (but didn’t finish) their set with. After a brief break the band came out to ensue an enormous jam session with Gourley displaying his psychedelic guitar riffs, amongst crashing cymbals and thunderous drums. This all while keyboardist Kyle O’Quinn provided the perfect landscape for these instruments to explore. This led into the rarely played song “The Devil” as the jam session continued the band playfully mixed in “Helter Skelter” by The Beatles. The band ended the night in almost traditional like form by playing “Sleep Forever” and “Smile.” Portugal. The Man provided a perfect example of a band that is constantly pushing themselves to mature and grow as artists. And this evening proved that all their hard work has paid off.
Check out a full gallery of the night HERE!