07 November 2008

Portugal. The Man @ The Club at Water Street

I was pretty annoyed Tuesday night. Now, in the long view, it turned out to be a night for the ages, but this here being a live music blog, I will say that the live music side of my brain was rightly peeved. Earl Greyhound was in town and I have been wanting to catch them for quite a while. They were to 2nd on a 3 band bill with Wintersleep opening it up and Portugal. The Man finishing the night. I had never heard of Wintersleep but my vetting of them over the internet got me fairly interested in what they had to offer. Ditto that for PTM, plus the added bonus that they were from Wasila, AK was too good to pass on. But really, in the end, all I wanted to see was Earl Greyhound. Everywhere that the show was listed said doors at 7, show at 8. All things going perfectly I figured Earl would be on around 9 at the earliest. I walked in at 9 on the button and heard the last flourishes of what was Earl Greyhound's set. WTF?! Was there an opener? Yep, both bands were done, and the closer was quick on their heels.

This is absolutely RULE #1 of live music. If you get to a show on time, you will be way too early, if you get to a show fashionably late the show will have started right on time. True every time, I cannot get around this fact. Once you become a regular at certain clubs you get the hang for their schedule and how it jibes with their listed schedule. I had only been to this venue one other time and remember waiting and waiting and then having to sit through an awful and unlisted opener, and then waiting some more. This freaking show apparently started earlier than the list time. I can only hope Earl Greyhound will make it back to town soon, even through those closing bombastic notes I could tell they would have kicked my ass.

As for Portugal. The Man, the were pretty good. Reminded me a bit of Cold War Kids with their vocals and their live energy and concentration on rhythms. Though they were much heavier and more psychedelic, with an occasional tendency to stretch the songs out to some pretty interesting places. The crowd was fairly small, very young, and the club was lit better than the stage. Add that to the fact that the sound was distant and poorly mixed and it was tough to get swept up by the music. I stuck around for about 45m and headed home in time to watch history happen.

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