In bassist Zach Carother’s words, “New Orleans is known for partying and we’re known for partying; I think we make a good team.” 

portugal the man photo by patrick ainsworth
John Gourley of Portugal. The Man at Buku, by Patrick Ainsworth

“Your momma’s got nothing on me, your daddy’s got nothing on me, and the world that sleeps in its lunacy, it's got nothing on me,” John Gourley of Portugal. The Man crooned. The Portland-based group made a strong case for its dominance during a set Friday at Buku. The show was equal parts performance art and concert, a blend of provocative artistry and finely tuned execution.

One of the most unique qualities of the set was how Portugal. intricately wove themes and phrases about evil into their set. This was the essence of their album, Evil Friends, so it was nice to see a group’s recording translate so nicely to live performance. It also created a new dimension to the performance that vaulted the show from pleasant listening to deep thinking. The band also displayed creative chops by altering songs’ BPM with well-practiced abandon. They would speed up the tempo or abruptly cut it in half mid-song, which forced the audience to stay on its toes, and allowed the band to shift from one song to the next seamlessly.

Overall, Portugal. The Man’s performance was raucous as hell. From an epic cover of Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s, “Day Man,” to mash-ups that involved Pink Floyd, Oasis and Wutang Clan. In bassist Zach Carothers' words, “New Orleans is known for partying and we’re known for partying; I think we make a good team.” 

portugal the man photo by patrick ainsworth Zach Carothers' of Portugal. The Man at Buku, by Patrick Ainsworth

 

Portugal. The Man last spoke to My Spilt Milk after the release of Evil Friends. For more from Buku, see My Spilt Milk Sunday and Monday.