IN THE STUDIO WITH PORTUGAL. THE MAN

PORTUGAL. THE MAN: YOUR NEW FAVORITE BAND

BY PAUL PECK (@PAULNPECK)

A bunch of years ago I was side stage at Which just as My Morning Jacket finished a monstrously triumphant performance.  As the band walked off stage, I suddenly found myself in a situation – in huddle formation with the band members who were now looking at me waiting for my answer on what I thought of the set. I was actually the right person to ask since I had watched the show wire to wire, listening intently to every note.  Well, I stated the obvious: their performance was an instant classic.  The band had crushed it in front of an enormous crowd.

Flash-forward to present day: MMJ is everyone’s favorite band and has made it to festival headliner status.  They’re a band that has grown with Bonnaroo, playing the festival at every stage in their development, similar to The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, Phoenix and Kings of Leon. If I’m putting money down, next up is Portugal. The Man.

Hit play on our Bonnaroo Portugal. The Man Mixtape and read on to find out why.

Are Portugal. The Man. a future headliner?  What am I, a mind-reader?

WELL, HERE’S WHAT I KNOW. THEY MEET THE CRITERIA OF THE “THIS BAND IS PRIMED TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD” CHECKLIST:

Great songs

These guys can really write and every record gets better.  Lead singer John Gourley is a prolific artist with an outstanding and unique voice (he even helps create the album art).

Take it to the stage

This band’s live show has evolved through the years and it’s clearly a big focus.  The production, sound, lights and heavy use of smoke make the show look and feel like it’s happening in a cloud.

Good times

Like any good Bonnaroo band, these guys are into doing fun and often kind of risky stuff that takes them outside their comfort zone.  In 2011, our late night Mardi Gras parade led to a surprise secret performance by Portugal playing on top of a Mr. T float, which was one of the most memorable moments of the year.

Covers

Oh, and they’ll also toss some big covers in their set.  When they last played Terminal 5 in NYC, they played John Lennon’s ‘Helter Skelter’ off the White Album and then ripped into a classic Bowie tune – the latter of which prompted my friend Kivney to exclaim, “Wow.  I’m gonna roll up my sleeves on this one”.  He’s a sucker for the classics.  They closed out the set with Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger”.

Since then the band has added a stellar new drummer and honed their live chops with monster tours including a run through Europe with The Black Keys.

Seven albums in and the band has an amazing arsenal of tunes.  Oh yeah.  From the looks of these photos the band shared with us, they’re in the studio working on a new album and working with a badass producer .  It’s a solid bet that it’s gonna be something to get very excited for…

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PORTUGAL. THE MAN SONG OR ALBUM? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!