REVIEW: Portugal. The Man @ The Anthem, 2/24

By Sarah Wren Robinson

Photo from IMP

Portugal. The Man, best known for their hit album “Woodstock” featuring chart-topping tracks such as “Feel It Still” and “Live in the Moment,” captivated the audience at the Anthem on February 24th with an unforgettable concert experience.

Before attending the concert, I had previously dove into Portugal. The Man’s 2011 album In the Mountain in the Cloud, and I developed an appreciation for their gentle acoustic sound. I had assumed that sound had been left behind after “Feel it Still” became the poppy and electric sensation it was, so I walked into The Anthem with a degree of skepticism. Like many others, I initially wrote the band off as a one-hit wonder, but by the end of the concert, my expectations had been shattered. 

The atmosphere at The Anthem was both exhilarating and intimidating. Its cavernous architecture challenged the band to fill the space with energy and sound, and fill it they did. From the moment Portugal. The Man took the stage, they owned it with confidence and charisma. The setlist was a perfect blend of old favorites and newer tracks, showcasing the band’s versatility and range. They seamlessly transitioned from the recognizable riffs of  “Feel It Still” to the lesser known but just as ear-wormy melodies of songs like “Atomic Man” and (to my surprise and delight) “So American.” Special guests like Quinn Christopherson and SNACKTIME added an extra layer of excitement to the night, making each moment unique and unforgettable.

What made Portugal. The Man’s performance at The Anthem feel like a much bigger setting was their clever incorporation of covers by artists like Rage Against the Machine and Quinn Christopherson into their setlist. These unexpected twists added a new dimension to the concert, rousing the audience with reimagined but familiar songs. The lead singer, John Gourleys use of call-and-response with the audience amplified this festival-like vibe.

One of the highlights of the night was when they delved into their early discography, playing tracks from In the Mountain in the Cloud. As someone with a personal connection to that album, hearing songs like “Once Was One” and “So American” performed live was a nostalgic and unexpectedly moving experience.

Portugal. The Man’s performance at The Anthem was a testament to their musical prowess and showmanship. They conquered the daunting venue with ease, reminding me and other skeptics why they continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *