Our friendly neighbors Twin Peaks, might have to get Modelo to sponsor them after their energetic opening set. This many tours into their career, Twin Peaks know their audience well, and they know that their audience is expecting a rowdy performance. Their success lies in their miraculous stage personas. Vocalist Clay Frankel, gets the crowd going every time with his beer chugging skills. After three beers he got the crowd singing and movin along with their energetic set. Twin Peaks busted out classics like “Walk To The One You Love,” “Wanted You” and “Making Breakfast,” as well as all the hits on their new Sweet ‘17 Singles. There’s nothing more to say about the kids down the block, because, by now, Madison knows how these dudes party at their highly dynamic shows.
Portugal. The Man don’t mess around. The Grammy-winning pop-sellouts, sold out overwhelming Overture Hall. Opening up with prominent covers of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,” the five-person band stuck out their chests from the start, tearing up classics that clearly influenced the band’s ever-developing sound. From the moment they stepped on stage, frontmen John Gourley and Zachary Carothers’ energy got the audience screaming out their lungs.
Their visuals were a big highlight of the show. A massive screen lit up a message reading, “Sorry! We’re bad at stage banter. We’re Portugal. The Man! Just making sure you’re at the right concert.” As PTM powered through “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” “Atomic Man” and “Modern Jesus,” they forgot their many pop tricks, and instead they decided to stick with rock sensibilities. Later in the show, text on the screen read, “That’s right kids. No computers. These are all live instruments up here.”
Though PTM employed all sorts of visual special effects like lasers, strobes and projections, the band hid largely in the shadows with no spotlight. PTM international enormous hit “Feel it Still” was presented in a very rushed manner. Some audience members might compare this to the “Creep” phenomenon — songs that artists hate to play because of their “pop success.”
With the band’s latest album, Woodstock, these “rebels just for kicks” brought along more strut, forming a much needed slick sound from the rock ‘n’ roll of late last century that was reworked, shaped and tuned in all forms, with a tone true to their past albums. The screen, yet again, let us have it: “We don’t like to talk about politics, but this needs to be said. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.” The song “So American” was followed up by “Rich Friends” with its tight backbeat. Burning vocals from Gourley ushered in an amped-up mood with other songs like “Live in the Moment,” reviving veteran fans. Portugal. The Man was not dead yet.
Surprisingly enough, Portugal. The Man brought out tons of smashing old hits that gave us some nostalgie from their 2013 album, Evil Friends. When the band played “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” and “Modern Jesus,” the crowd became in sync, jumping as one body. The band’s visual animations danced on the screen behind them as colorful abstract patterns fluttered alongside a bright light-show. Reminiscent of Gourley’s home in Alaska, the lights colored the hall like aurora borealis.
Returning to the stage to perform a gorgeous medley of 2011’s “Sleep Forever” and 2013’s “Smile” mixed in with the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” it was the perfect end to a captivating night.
PORTUGAL. THE MAN