Free at Noon Flashback: Portugal. The Man proves they are the man with a smattering of alt pop gold - WXPN
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Portugal. The Man | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

With the outside world taken over by some premature April showers, University City was in need of some form of escapism. Well, we got it in the form of alternative geniuses Portugal. The Man. Taking a break in between two massive sold-out shows at Union Transfer, the Alaska-based pop twisters packed fan favorites into 35 minutes of pure euphoria.

With the stage masked with blinding LEDs and a heavy haze, the five-piece busted on stage to a smattering of hits from their 2013 hit Evil Friends, rolling effortlessly through “Creep In a T-Shirt,” “Modern Jesus” and “Holy Toller (Hallelujah).” While their brand of indie pop houses a lot of interworking gears, John Baldwin Gourley and the gang pulled it all off with flair and style, perfectly exemplified on the band’s recent single “Feel It Still,” which showed the World Cafe crowd that they’re in for the long haul. And seriously, thank God for that.

“Evil Friends” greeted us at the end of Helen Leicht’s mid-set ID, and before the ’13 title-track came to an end, an oh-so-familiar “Dayman” swings through the air. Yes, Charlie’s signature musical number from Always Sunny in Philadelphia filled the room to the delight of everyone, followed by a nailing down of classics like “So American” and “People Say”, before bassist Zachary Scott Carothers bid everyone a farewell with a parting “see some of you tonight” into the colorful “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.”

Walking out of that ballroom, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, had only one thing to say: Holy crap that was awesome.

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