Portugal. The Man @ Irving Plaza, 5/20/13

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Portugal the manAlways intriguing indie rockers Portugal. The Man returned to NYC just recently, playing Irving Plaza after a year away for a Monday night jam. The tour is supporting the release of Evil Friends this week, their sixth studio album; Don’t worry, the new stuff got quite a good reaction. Royal Bangs completed the roster tonight, offering a decent rock sound with a heavy bass that shined at points.

It’s pleasing to see a band revamp their live show so significantly in a year’s span. Where P.TM utilized a structure of lighted and connected globes last year, they now had an influx of high-powered lasers as their primary visual asset. With the heavy fog employed, I found myself watching the cool tricks of the beams more often than the band themselves.

P.TM also augmented their live roster, now bringing in a couple of utility players to round out their sound. They also had a few girls on stage as backup singers. I’d have to guess they were simply fans who caught a lucky break, as they were a bit uncoordinated to the point of distracting.

The fun thing about a P.TM gig has to be the cornucopia of people they bring together. All types and shapes were well represented, giving the show a varied and positive energy. Only on a night like this can you hear a Beatles cover followed by a crowd of moshers. I’d find someone hard pressed to not fit in and have fun when this band puts out.

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