Portugal. The Man has had a bit of a rocky history. They originated in Wasilla, Alaska in 2004 and moved to Portland with hopes of recording. For the most part, PTM was supposed to be a side project of John Gourley’s and with the demise Anatomy of a Ghost, the band shape. They signed to Fearless records in 2006, recorded two albums and left in 2008 and joined Atlantic Records in 2010.
John Gourley (vocals, guitar, organ, drum machines) and Zachary Scott Carothers (bass guitar, backing vocals) are the only two members of the band that have been around from the beginning. The two have crafted a sound that encompasses many different influences and genera’s. With this year’s release of Woodstock (6-16-17), the band took the remains of two previously unreleased albums and created a finished product. The album was inspired by an original 1969 Woodstock music festival ticket stub owned by Gourley's father. Gourley realized that ever since that moment in 1969, music has had the same mission as then – "to comment on societal and political unease." "We worked with so many rad people on this album, but ended up with just the four of us in a basement at 4 a.m. trying to say something that mattered," said Gourley. "Trying to write music that would help people feel they're not alone, even if they're angry or feeling lost.”
The set was mostly composed of material from Evil Friends and In the Mountain in the Cloud as well as a few tracks from Woodstock and what has become their signature cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2” which ended the main set. The two song encore was a track of two hits, one past, and one present. In some ways the band reminds me of a cross between Blur and Foals, with a psychedelic twist. Crowd banter was at a minimum as the task at hand was more important. The use of a projector on stage kept the band in near enmity, but served as a great way to paint pictures throughout the set. The near sold-out crowd took every moment to cheer on the band and in return was greeted with a powerhouse of a performance. You can see more pictures here.