Review: Portugal. The Man Shows St. Paul They’re More Than ‘Feel It Still’

Braving the frigid weather was something I was willing to do to see Portugal. The Man in St. Paul’s Palace Theatre, where they played back-to-back sold out shows this past weekend. I only went one night, but I would have gone to both if I could have.

Chicago-natives Twin Peaks warmed up the stage for the evening. Twin Peaks are one of those garage bands you would find in a suburban neighborhood, except everyone in the neighborhood would be outside the garage, rocking along with them. For such a young band, I was impressed with their old, 1950’s rock and roll, ripe with guitar riffs and wiggling knees.

When it was time for PTM to take the stage, a message projected on the backdrop informed the crowd that the band wasn’t keen to on-stage banter and would instead speak with predetermined on-screen messages. I knew this wouldn’t be your typical concert.

The band remained in the shadows of the projections for the rest of the night, making the music the focal point of their show–something I can respect.

I knew we were in for a treat when they opened with a cover of Metallica’s, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” which then transitioned into a cover of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” by Pink Floyd.

Moving on from their opening covers, they drove through their hits, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” “Atomic Man,” “Modern Jesus” and “Live in the Moment.” Buried among their hits was perhaps their biggest hit, “Feel It Still.”

I was blown away by the heavy guitar which was atypical of the band’s hip-hop-y tunes. They even made sure to comment, “That’s right kids. No computers. These are all live instruments up here.”

Despite the electricity coming from the band on stage, something was off.

I had never seen so many people standing still at a concert. Ever. I was in shock. Everywhere I looked, people were sitting or even worse, scrolling through the photos they took that night instead of actually seeing the magic happen in front of them.

I could hardly stop myself from dancing, why couldn’t anyone else?

The crowd was the only disappointing part of the night. St. Paul didn’t deserve two nights of incredible performances from a band who was there doing what they do best–playing their own music with the utmost passion and talent.

Halfway through their setlist was a mashup of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and PTM’s “All Your Light (Times Like These)” from their 2011 album “In The Mountain In The Cloud.”

Breezing through the last half of their setlist, the band ended with their heavy, biting lyrics of “Hip Hop Kids” and “Holy Roller (Hallelujah).”

At this point, a message was projected asking the crowd to please stand by, a promise of an encore. The crowd wouldn’t have to scream and shout for them to come back.

For the usual concert, the band will end their show with their biggest hit. Since PTM already played “Feel It Still,” I had no idea what to expect.

Coming back on stage, the band was welcomed by the crowd as they began their last few songs of the evening, which consisted of a medley of “Sleep Forever,” “Smile” and another Beatles hit, “Hey Jude.”

Overall, the concert itself was a work of art that the crowd didn’t seem to appreciate.

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