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Portugal. The Man at Harlow’s

Zachary Carothers of Portugal. The Man performs at Harlow’s on June 18, 2010.

A roadie turned on the smoke machine, and a few moments later, Portland by way of Alaska band Portugal. The Man emerged from the dense fog to take the Harlow’s stage.  The experimental indie rock four-piece visited Sacramento Thursday night, touring in support of their latest full-length American Ghetto.

Portugal. The Man is John Gourley (Guitar/Vocals), Zachary Carothers (Bass/Vocals), Jason Sechrist (Drums), and Ryan Neighbors (Keys/Vocals).  Think psychedelic indie rock with synth and dashes of electronica and hip-hop beats thrown in for good measure.  It’s a progressive and complex soundscape, and at the same time very much melodic and head-bobbingly accessible.

Their show at Harlow’s drew evenly from their first five full-length albums, of which they have put out about one a year since 2006. Foregoing crowd interaction to work through the set, the group’s jangly choruses occasionally meandered into extended sonic jam sessions, anchored by the tightness of a group that has a few shows under its belt.  A lighting scheme that did not include spotlights on stage helped to create a dramatic mood for the show; the band was lit from a few low lights on the stage and the light/dark contrast (along with the smoke and lasers) created dramatic surroundings to accompany the upbeat performance.

I enjoyed the show a lot and I’m glad I caught these guys in an intimate setting as they continue to build a larger fanbase and play increasingly larger venues.  I definitely recommend checking out their albums and catching them live if you can.

Zachary Carothers (Bass/Vocals)

 

John Gourley (Guitar/Vocals)

 

John Gourley (background) and Ryan Neighbors (Keys/Vocals)

 

Zachary Carothers

 

Ryan Neighbors

 

Fans in front of the stage watch Ryan Neighbors on keys

 

John Gourley

 

Jason Sechrist (Drums)

 

 Zachary Carothers

 

The band gets ready to say goodnight

 

Setlist:

My Mind
The Sun
Guns & Dogs
Chicago
1989
Colors
Do You
The Woods
Oh Lord
Marching With 6
Stables & Chairs
And I
People Say
AKA M80 The Wolf

 

Photos by Steven Chea

 For more information:

Portugal. The Man

Harlow’s

Abstract Entertainment

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