By Hannah Norwood
November 2, 2017
Portugal. The Man put on quite the show Friday night at the Fillmore in Charlotte bringing psychedelic vibes to a sellout crowd. Before taking to the mainstage that evening at the NC Music Factory, the enjoyed their time in the Queen City to the fullest extent. They spent the afternoon hanging out at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery where they put on a short acoustic set to a private audience. The band, while having been around since 2006, has become a household name with their song “Feel it Still,” off this year’s album Woodstock. The crowd was packed with longtime and newer fans alike, with everyone singing along and rocking out during the entire show.
Lido, a DJ/rapper from Norway brought loud bass to pump up the crowd as the opener. He played dance remixes of classic tunes like “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers that lured people away from the bar and out onto floor. In working as a DJ artist, he said it best himself that he “fucks with people’s shit for a living.” Therefore he proudly expressed his gratitude to Portugal. The Man because they had responded rather unusually to him remixing one of their songs, by inviting him on tour instead of suing for copyright infringement! An otherwise peculiar pairing across genres for an opening act, finally made sense when Lido ended the set with his famous remix of “Feel it Still” before he turned it over to the headliner.
Bright colors projected swirling acid-like droplet formations behind the stage and laser beams shot out above the heads of the cheering audience. As the first chords of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” were played, the crowd chimed with the familiar lyrics before it faded nicely into Portugal’s own song “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” They flashed a typed-out disclaimer explaining that they aren’t very good at witty stage banter, so they’ll only be saying stuff the manager tells them to. This was just the first of many great one-liners displayed throughout the show on top of the trippy imagery. Favorites included: “Young Thug has no fashion sense,” “Y’all like smoking weed, getting fucked up, and talking politics at family dinners?,” “That’s right kids. No computers up here. Just live instruments” and, of course, “Kyle’s got a boner,” which was displayed during keyboardist Kyle O’Quin’s solo.
The band showed their rock roots with a heavy bass line and shredding electric guitar improvisation but they also brought a contemporary upbeat energy to the stage with favorites like “Modern Jesus” and “So American.” It was revealed toward the end of the set that drummer Jason Sechrist had actually not been on stage with them that night, because his baby boy was born just the day before. Luckily they called their old bandmate Kayne Ritchotte and flew him out to fill in for the show.
Charlotte was the second to last stop on this 60 day tour, appearing at Suwannee Hulloween in Florida on Sunday afternoon. The band will be taking some much needed R&R for the entire month of November before heading back out on the road to ride out the waves of their most recent success. Front man John Gourley said that, “We always have a good time every time we come here.”
Check out the remaining 2017-18 tour for Portugal. The Man.