Eric Howk, left, John Gourley, center, and Kyle O'Quin, right, of indie rock band Portugal. The Man peform at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, Jul. 25, 2017. (Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

       Portugal. The Man. Portland. Oregon. Indie rock. However, appearances can be deceiving. After all, Portugal. The Man commenced their show at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, July 25th with a cover of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” This heavy opener set the tone for the rest of the encapsulating night, which left concert goers in a psychedelic haze replete with jam sessions and shredding guitar solos.

       After playing the classic thrash metal cover, guitarist and lead vocalist John Gourley segued into singing the words “Can’t keep my hands to myself” in his soft, high-pitched voice. This marked the beginning of their hit, “Feel it Still”, off Portugal. The Man’s latest album Woodstock. As could be discerned by the jovial dancing washed in a Northwest sea of electric energy, the crowd more than just felt the band. The ninety minute journey included a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In the Wall Part 2”, a moving rendition of “Live in the Moment”, and another performance of “Feel it Still” all in front of dreamy projections.

       Portugal. The Man returned for an encore following a deafening crescendo from the Salt Lake City faithful; bass guitarist and backing vocalist Zachary Carothers reciprocated feelings towards the crowd by declaring, “People don’t know, but SLC goes hard!” In Salt Lake City, Portugal. The Man was able to create more than just a feeling.  

Rishi Deka
Rishi Deka is a Utah Press Association award-winning photo/multimedia journalist. He is also a research academic with a PhD at the University of Utah.

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