It only took about 14 years for Wasilla, Alaska’s Portugal. The Man to become the badass overnight music sensations that they are but, in the end, it works out for the best for all involved. No, really, it does.
In November of 2017, I stood backstage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles and watched Portugal. The Man take their places on stage (a stage that Imagine Dragons would occupy a performance or two after), wait for their intro and the curtain to rise on them and their 2x platinum, “What the shit?” single, “Feel It Still” from their eighth album, Woodstock.
It was a moment. For the band, well yeah and d’uh, but also for myself. As a fan: a moment.
In something of a shock to the system, in 2010 this most indie of indie bands signed to major label Atlantic Records. Collective deep breath because, as bands went, they were still like that sexy little secret only you and your best friend with benefits were into. So thoughtful for the feelings of their faithful fanbase, the band even offered a contact number that one could call and share any concerns. Up until 2011 Portugal. The Man was a clockwork outfit that cranked out a reliable as fuck, true to form record once a year for six years with The Satanic Satanist and In The Mountain In The Cloud constantly battling it out as their top album to my ears.
But in 2017 the curtain raised and suddenly everyone knew what you’d been doing in your private time, with whom and now they want to do it, too. And do it with you.
Now my first thought was to compile a ‘Best Of’ Portugal. The Man playlist primer but – minus a few gems such as “People Say” and “Guns and Dogs” – what they’ve compiled on Spotify is pretty solid. So dig into what Portugal. The Man have been offering up since 2004 and – if you haven’t done so, already – hear the full trajectory that their stellar sound has traveled album for album. And then get your ass to the Shrine so that they can make it groove.
Portugal. The Man are currently on the road through October so check out their upcoming tour dates HERE.
Did I mention that “Feel It Still” won a GRAMMY for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in January? Yeah, that happened.