Portugal. The Man @ MacEwan Ballroom in Calgary, AB, Canada
Review & Photography by: Tilley Bruce
For most, -25 degrees celsius, is not the weather you’d prefer to go out in. Though neither the frigid temperature or the impending snow storm fazed the Canadian concert goers who flocked to MacEwan Hall on February 6, 2018 in tank tops and sneakers-the usual mid winter attire- to see the sold out Portugal. The Man show in Calgary, Alberta. From Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man is no stranger to the cold, and embodies the true spirit of an indie rock group that has built its roots in the eclectic culture of Portland, Oregon. Using catchy and uptempo alternative beats while discussing themes of war, youth, and social issues in their songs, the Feel It Still artists have garnered numerous awards for their vivacious singles that provide their listeners with memorable tunes to sing along to.
Despite the massive blow up in popularity as a result of their most recent album Woodstock, the band still has a reserved temperament that appears as an awkward rigidity when performing live. However, this was remedied by their casual, down to earth demeanor that presented as a focussed dedication in replicating the level of quality performed in the studio and can be heard throughout each track on their albums. To accompany the musical performance, a combination of timed lighting as well as a screen displayed behind the group projecting a series of abstract imagery to reflect both the attitude of each song and match the quirky appeal Portugal. The Man is known for. The audience maintained a constant sway, held in a trance driven by the display of color and sound. Feel It Still, allowed for both die hard fans and less familiar folks alike to get into the vibe of the performance, as other familiar recent singles such a “Live In The Moment” and “Rich Friends” had the same effect. As unconventional as their methods of performing without any stage banter were, they still provided the audience with a show that moved the crowd in the same way they do when being played on the radio.