Portugal. The Man and Benjamin Booker Rock the New House of Blues Anaheim
This past Thursday night, the House of Blues Anaheim had quite the treat with the self-proclaimed “Lords of Portland,” none other than Portugal. The Man.
Getting the night started was the brilliant musician, Benjamin Booker. I remember catching him down the road at the Constellation Room years ago, and now on this big stage to a sold-out crowd, he’s come a long way. Booker pours his heart out into this modern type of blues, soul and gospel tunes. He is so engaging in his performing that could get any man on his feet. It sure was a treat to catch him. Be sure to check out his sophomore record Witness that was recently released off of ATO Records.
Everybody refueled at the bars and got back in place just in time for Portugal. The Man. The lights went out and fans swayed as The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” bleared out of the speakers. Once the song was eventually coming to an end, the boys themselves strolled on stage.
Countless Portugal. The Man shows I’ve been to, and the unique style of lead vocalist, John Gourley never cease to wow me. He is one of a kind, that’s for sure. Grabbing his guitar off of the band’s art-printed amp that read “Lords,” he got right into shredding. They got started with an incredible mashup of sorts. First you heard the distinct bass line of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall, Pt.2)” which perked the ears of the crowd. Then you heard the James Hetfield wailing off of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Bringing it all together with pride was Portugal. The Ma anthem “Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue” off their killer album Evil Friends. What a whirlwind of sorts to get the night rolling. The guys just took off and continued doing what they do best.
If you haven’t been to a Portugal. The Man show, you’re straight up missing out on an experience. Part of catching these guys live is truly witnessing their groovy and melodic music come to life with these incredible psychedelic light projections and lasers that soar off into the crowd, ultimately bringing everyone together.
Having just released their eighth record, Woodstock with Atlantic Records last month, the Alaskan natives took the game by storm with their live shows again. It had been four years since Portugal. The Man toured for Evil Friends and we were glad to have them back. They recently played main stages all over the festival lineups. From Bonnaroo to Coachella to Lollapalooza, Portugal. The Man made their presence strong. It was quite the treat as a Portugal. The Man. fan to see them back in action yet still play all of their fan-favorites from over the years. There’s nothing worse than going to a band’s tour and only hearing new music. They stay true to that complete experience for sure. And of course, they wouldn’t be here today without the help of Weird Al Yankovic, so says their bass drum head, complete with a photo of Weird Al drinking champagne!
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein