Portugal. The Man Embraces Us Spiritually with Sounds And Visuals
Usher’s were directing cars into a large field. A young guy jokingly asked a million questions. The usher finally got the point, this kid was trying to lighten the mood. They laughed in unison.
Security at the door was intense, but shout out to the will call man, he had his stuff together and got me into the music in a timely manner.
HDBeenDope was already bumping. I’ve never heard of this dude, until now. A guy in the crowd, named Blake, yelled out, “I love your DJ.” HD raved about Blake for a solid five minutes. Then hit us straight in the feels with, "We are music lovers in here tonight. We're going to give a little energy. You gotta little bit of everybody's energy in you.”
The vibe changed as he switched over from preaching to reaching out to fans through social media. “Hit me up on Twitter and I'll get back to you!”
His DJ (J HART) was stunting a button down blue shirt with red sailboats on it. HD did not play with his inspirational speech moments, "L.A.B.B., does anyone knows what it spells?"
“What it means is: Learn And Become Better. Every day you're going to learn something. If you don't take the shit you learn and be a better person, you'll never learn. Society tells you what's right and wrong. Gotta got out in the world and find out what's right and wrong for yourself."
This was the most diverse crowd I've ever seen with rich white couples in their 40's and kids who couldn't have been older than 15. Hell, HD is young too.
As his set neared he left us with wanting feedback about his performance, "Meet me at the merch table. Tell me if you loved it or hated it!”
There was no gate in this joint for photographers and my first thought was I'm going to have to fight this IPA and vodka lemonade filled crowd.
Intermission consisted of Run The Jewels to Plastic Bertrand’s "CA Plane Pour Moi" and then all of a sudden spirals to Cyndi Lauper’s "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
Some millennial’s dad is still in his mechanic clothes, sipping on a beer, ready to get down. This party is getting weird.
The lights dimmed, the room filled with fog. Portugal. The Man was decked out in thrift wear, looking like they are about to steal candy from a baby. Their visuals are from another planet. From acid rock liquid on the screen to a visual one might have playing The Sims on DMT. Whoever designs each unique animation for their songs, sign me up for a class!
"Noise Pollution" and "Modern Jesus" had everyone's stone bodies crumble to the ground. Their sound is so diverse one second I'm at a fancy concert hall, next a disco.
They played their new song "Feel it Still." "Evil Friend" broke out claps all around and synchronized singing.
Holy cow. Wait. They are playing "DayMan" and this transitioned to "So American".
Goosebumps break out across my arms as Pink Floyd’s "Another Brick in The Wall" melts into "Purple Yellow Red & Blue." The flock went insane. Then HD appeared out of nowhere to collaborate on a rap/rock moment.
An encore broke out with lighters. Carothers (bassist) walked back on stage with “Y’all getting crazy on a weekday!”
They ended the encore with "Feel It Still" again. These people didn’t care they wanted it all. Fog covered all sight and "99 Problems" came on. I'm handed a Shaky Knees flyer as I exited the venue.
It was a very spiritual rock and rap experience, all around, including morphed naked bodies on the screen. I'm not sure what specific religion this falls under but I've not only joined, I’ve converted.
Photos by Annabel Shettel for Bullet Music