LIVE REVIEW: The Lonely Forest + Portugal. The Man @ Fox Theater, Pomona 5/4/12
Anacortes, WA natives The Lonely Forest came on to a packed venue with a good percentage of the crowd being there to support them. The band played with the confidence of headliners and quickly gained momentum as they began their set. Their setlist included a variety of their mid-tempo, spacey, indie pop-rock off of all of their releases, but the Arrows tracks stood out the most. Songs like “Woe Is Me… I Am Ruined,” “Coyote,” and “We Sing In Time” were played with so much intensity it quickly gained the attention of those in attendance. Singer John Van Deusen joked in between songs of loving the West Coast saying, “I like the East, I dig the Midwest, but the West Coast is where its at!” It was a very entertaining set by an enthusiastic bunch of musicians.
In between band performances the DJ was performing a mix of The Beasite Boys, later dedicating it to the passing MCA, who had died the day before. The DJ was quickly followed by an emcee who was accompanied by the Jagerettes (a group of waitresses holding trays of Jager shots), toasting to the memory of MCA.
When the lights dimmed and Portugal. The Man took the stage, the sound of the crowd was deafening, amidst opener “All Your Light (Times Like These),”.Portugal. The Man owned every minute of the show taking the audience through an adventure of politics, beautiful imagery, nature’s gorgeous landscapes, and interpersonal opinions. It was surreal to see how much Portugal. The Man had grown over the course of six albums, always expanding to their perfect blend of soul laced psychadelic indie rock. Their setlist was made up of some of their best tracks like “The Woods” and “Work All Day” off of fan favorite Satanic Satanists. Also “AKA M80 The Wolf” and “Chicago,” the latter causing a mosh pit of fans singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The overall stage presence of the band was an awesome spectacle as the members spread across the stage with no need to hide behind any one person in the band. Songs like “The Sun” caused the entire venue to sing in unison as singer John Gourley showed off his vocals and superb blues like guitar playing. The light show the band includes as an added layer to their music makes one forget that they are watching a small, humble band from Alaska. Or maybe they aren’t that small up and coming band anymore, maybe they’re threading the line between underground heroes and a new mainstream act.
click here for more photos of Portugal. The Man and The Lonely Forest.