Chicago – Here’s how, in my mind, Chicago-based foursome Minor Characters came up with their onstage look for tonight’s Portugal. The Man concert:
Band-member #1: “So what’s our hook going to be for this show gentlemen? We need something to make us pop.”
Band-member #2: “How about we wear three piece suits, slick our hair back and out-dress everyone within a ten mile radius of us?”
Band-member #1: “Done.”
Minor Characters not only sounded great, but they were sporting the kind of outfits that make a girl’s heart flutter. I believe the adjective that was thrown around was ‘dapper’. Well done gentlemen. They even got a shout-out from the second opener for just flat out lookin’ good. I’m happy to say that Minor Character’s music doesn’t disappoint – it’s as snappy as their dress, as self-deprecating and modest as their name and as catchy as all get-out. Come break my heart is a great single and If I Were You is definitely worth a listen. I’m hoping that these guys are making the rounds come festival season in Chicago (don’t forget your suits gentlemen) – they definitely warrant further viewings.
Up next was Lonely Forest, a foursome from Anacortes Washington, with a strong indie-rock vibe. It’s rare that a smaller, less well-known band is able to inhabit the space of a large venue like the Vic Theater, but the one word I would use to describe Lonely Forest’s set is powerful. This band has definite stage presence and they were showing it off tonight. I might also have had a soft spot for them from the beginning because their drummer has the kind of flowing locks that only a percussionist can pull off. Little known fact – used appropriately, a drummer’s hair counts as a musical entity all its own. Lonely Forest plays the kind of music that allows their drummer to get the most out of his head of hair – it’s got a strong beat that grips you immediately and emotional and clever lyrics to top it off.
Finally Portugal. The Man took the stage. There was some talk of having trouble with the lights, so I’m not sure if this was the look that they were going for, but the stage looked like the equivalent of a lightning storm at night. Honestly it wasn’t a bad look – it merged well with PTM’s stoic rock onstage presence (the two tall men in front of me were obviously taking their cue from the band – I don’t think either of them moved a muscle throughout the entire set. Guys, if you’re going to take the good spot on the railing at least show some enthusiasm. If I have to stare at your backs I need them to at the very least be swaying.) PTM was definitely a powerhouse in its own right, playing for a solid hour and a half and at one point seamlessly moving into the Beatles Hey Jude, which the crowd obviously loved.
PTM had the undivided attention of the audience members (and even inspired some to test the crowd surfing waters – causing one poor soul to take a face first dive) and they played a great set – but in my mind the night belonged to the openers.
Upcoming tour dates:
4/21/12 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
4/22/12 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
4/24/12 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
4/25/12 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
4/26/12 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
4/29/12 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
4/30/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
5/02/12 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
5/03/12 – Flagstaff, AZ @ The Orpheum Theater
5/04/12 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
5/05/12 – San Diego, CA @ 4th and B
5/06/12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent