10/18 Portugal. The Man @ Emo’s

The city of Wasilla, Alaska is best known for one of two things: The first, and the one we keep hearing about in the news, is how the city was once home to vice presidential candidate Sarah Pallin. The second, and much less widely known fact, is that Wasilla was also once called home by members of psych-rock band Portugal. The Man. Regardless of where they came from, the one time Alaskan outfit (now in Portland) known as Portugal. The Man rocked the house at Emo’s on Saturday night. Follow the jump to read more about the show.

Not knowing much about the band before their show at Emo’s, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. A few friends familiar with the band said I would be impressed/blown away, and I must say they were right on both accounts. The band I still don’t know much about made a lasting impression with a rock show I won’t soon forget.

Key elements for a great rock show were all utilized by Portugal. The Man. Smoke machines, sound synched light shows, amps turned to 11 and a ton of emotion came from a band who’ve been taking notes from some of the better live acts around. The only thing missing was the leopard print jump suits…. Maybe next time?

The Alaska born boys don’t tease you or wait around to jump things off for a live show either. Soon after dimming the lights, Portugal. The Man thrash their way into an energy filled set complete with their own primitive light show and high pitched vocal harmonies. Rarely stopping to take a breather or talk to the crowd, front man John Gourley lead his band into a series of explosive rock n’ roll songs causing just a bit of fist pumping/dancing in the crowd.

The sound of Portugal. The Man can be pretty hard to pin down even after a few songs in the live setting. If I had to compare, I might slap the MGMT tag on them but with more room for the occasional jam session thrown in at the end of several songs. Not being a huge fan of labeling a band without you hearing them, take that comparison and check out the album if it sounds like something you’d like. Call it psych-rock, space-rock, or just plain rock, the guys in Portugal. The Man know how to rock n’ roll. The band will be on tour for another couple months so check them out if they make a stop in your city.

Many thanks as always to our great photographer, Jonathon Edwards. Visit him on MySpace and say hello.

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