REVIEW: Portugal. The Man at The Anthem
What happens when your eighth studio album contains your most viral hit?
That’s a question Portugal. The Man finds themselves still answering following the release of their 2017 album Woodstock. The album features their international hit “Feel It Still,” a track that has taken a life of its own and exposed a well-established band to soaring new heights. The single, which boasts 380 million Spotify streams, peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 but found it’s home on the Alternative Songs chart — becoming the longest-running #1 after logging 20 weeks on top. As we predicted in January, the single also earned the group their first Grammy nomination and win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
While Feel It Still is the hit it deserves to be, the rest of the album should not be forgotten or missed. From start to finish, Woodstock contains instantly-classic earworms with mind-melting and 60s-inspired experimental melodies. With every listen we continue to find exciting intricacies we previously missed. Of the entire 10 track album, we’re completely enthralled by “Easy Tiger,” “Noise Pollution,” and “Live In The Moment.”
On the heels of their highly-acclaimed album and the success of “Feel It Still,” Portugal. The Man has been on what seems like an endless worldwide tour — with dates currently confirmed through mid-October. While we definitely intend on catching their set at Coachella this year, we had to check out their sold-out show at The Anthem in DC first. From the opening notes of their cover of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” to the closing notes of their track “Holy Roller [Hallelujah]” the band ripped through 19 songs, including two Beatles covers, and weaved seamlessly through the new album and 2013s Evil Friends. We were also excited to get “Feel It Still” as a mid-show surprise and not as the obvious encore.
As we heard the familiar opening riff of the track, and the crowd’s sudden uproar of cheers, we wondered what it meant for the band to have such a huge track coming out of their 8th album. For starters, they’re playing larger sold-out venues and have piqued the interest of many first-time listeners, but we can’t help but believe the band will easily and effortlessly move on from this phase when they are ready. New fans still intact. Their high-energy shows are worth seeing more than once, and whether they attempt to replicate Woodstock/FIS magic on the next album will be interesting to see. We hope they don’t, but then again most great bands like Portugal. The Man doesn’t want or need to either.