Portugal. the Man
Let’s Get Weird
By: Stephanee Bridges/ Photos By: Kenneth Coles
The show opened with Beavis and Butt Head glowing on a screen, their cackling laughs filling Thompson’s Point with nostalgia and laughter. Their banter went back and forth as Portugal. The Man’s Spotify vertical video interspersed scenes of the classic characters on the couch.
As the lights began to pulse, the dialogue turned into a sort of reverence and the band walked on stage, grabbed their instruments and started jamming to Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, creating an excited and pulsing energy through the crowd, the song seamlessly blended into Pink Floyd and then again into “Purple Yellow Red Blue”, one of their better known songs. The lights were electric and awe-inspiring and projected into the sky a vibrant hue.
The projections behind the band were psychedelic, mesmerizing, and a little trippy. The band never spoke to the crowd but rather had quotes projected onto the screen behind them, casting the band in shadow for nearly the entire show. Quotes like, “We are not very good at stage banter” and “If you like to talk about politics at family dinners, that’s pretty bad ass” to
“Lets get weird.” With every flash of words, the crowd would respond with laughter, cheering and sometimes vulgar comebacks.
The crowd with every changing song seemed to feel the band’s energy and would dance along with the syncopated beats. The bombastic and sometimes frantic sound motivated those in the crowd to let loose, to be free to dance however they felt moved to.
Thompson’s Point being an outside venue and exposed to the elements was accommodating in holding off the rain but the fog from the earlier storm rolled in all around the venue, creating a creepy and startlingly beautiful scene that encapsulated the overall vibe of the show. Crowd members on the fringe jockeyed for position for the best spot to get both the band and the Instagram-worthy shot that Mother Nature so kindly provided.
Those who were closest to the stage, though, were much too engrossed in enjoying every second of the band’s set. Dancing, thrashing, smiling people were all around and set the tone for what turned out to be a surreal night. As the band played on, featuring their better-known tracks in the middle of the set, the screen spectacle played behind them. Eyeless, feature-less faces floated across the stage in time with the song and a tower of skulls spiraled ever upwards.
The band never paused to catch their breath, never spoke directly to the crowd, and never really made eye contact. They were engrossed in their performance and the crowd was engrossed by them.