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Review Fri Mar 11 2011

Review: Portugal. The Man @ Lincoln Hall

Sporadic bursts of synthetic smoke, strobe-like lighting effects, five-minute bluesy breakdowns. All in a night's work for Portugal. The Man, a band that has come a long way since its origins in the unlikely town of Wasilla, Alaska to its recent major label signing with Atlantic Records.

Last night the quirky foursome was the guest of honor at one of Chicago's newest record labels, Audio Tree's, official launch party, hosted by Lincoln Hall. Openers included The Soil & the Sun and Audio Tree's first signed act, Kellen & Me.

Sure, some might be inclined to write Portugal. The Man off as a studio band considering the wide range of bells, whistles and outside vocals that they have filled each album with, but it's amazing how elaborate they still manage to sound as a live four-piece with a very traditional set up. Much of the sonic diversity Portugal. The Man creates onstage is owed to keyboardist/synth operator Ryan Neighbors, who seemed to be constantly reworking his sounds to fit whatever tune came next. Singer/guitarist John Gourley's sultry voice seeped into every corner of Lincoln Hall and left audience members entranced by his stoic on-stage allure. Things only got better when bassist Zachary Carothers and Neighbors grabbed their mics, creating multi-layered harmonies to fill any empty spaces.

As one of the most productive bands of the aughts, releasing five albums in the past five years and currently at work on their Atlantic debut — some tracks off which were showcased last night — there was plenty of diversity in the song selection for last night's set. After cruising through more recent tracks like American Ghetto's "60 Years," Portugal. would reach back far into their catalogue and pull older gems like Church Mouth's "Shade" or the extensive jam that was "AKA M80 The Wolf" out onto the stage.

Saying that Portugal. The Man has developed a "cult-like following" in Chicago over in recent years would be stereotypic and an understatement. The band's popularity seemed to skyrocket after its 2008 release Censored Colors and last night was a true display of reverent fandom. Those in attendance took unspoken (Really, the band members barely said one word save for brief, but genuine, expressions of praise for their fans and last night's sponsor, Audio Tree.) cues from the band, noting when to clap along, provide respectful silence to accompany softer moments or break out into carefree dancing.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
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Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

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Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
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Drag City
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Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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