by Morgan Smith
EUGENE, OR — On Friday, the Alaska-born, Portland-based band Portugal. The Man rocked the McDonald Theatre for an excited and lively crowd. Before the music began, the band invited native tribe members to the stage to lead a short ceremony to pay respects the Kalapuya land. The band played many of its classically known hits along with a colorful light show and essential oil infused stage smoke that trickled throughout the venue. The sounds, visuals, and soothing aromas offered an immersive, captivating experience to remember.
Portugal. The Man has carved out a unique niche on the pop landscape, balancing their artfully left of center, neo-psychedelic indie rock with hooky dance, R&B, hip-hop, and electronic traditions. Debuting in 2006, they delivered a series of independent albums throughout the late 2000s, touring hard and eventually signing a deal with Atlantic for 2010’s Billboard 200-charting In the Mountain in the Cold. The band’s diligence paid off during their major-label tenure, with each subsequent album gaining them a wider fan base and increased acclaim. On 2013’s Evil Friends, they forged a collaboration with producer Danger Mouse, who helped out on the group’s politically driven eighth album, 2017’s Woodstock, which yielded the Grammy-winning hit single “Feel It Still.” Following an extended hiatus, they returned in 2023 with Chris Black Changed My Life (which was dedicated to the group’s friend, filmmaker Chris Black, who died in 2019) and again found them blending psych-pop with R&B, dance, and hip-hop sounds.
Check out the band’s website to learn more about upcoming tour dates.
From attending music shows to traveling to near and far away locations, Morgan Smith enjoys capturing images of the people and world around him — striving to bring a creative, unusual style to photojournalism. He is a co-founder of PRISE design GROUP, a communications and marketing company.