A lot of people talk about Portugal. The Man, and despite never really having listened to them before, I jumped at the chance to see the talented psych rockers from Oregon to see what all the hype was about. The TLA is one of my favorite venues to see indie rock bands, and it definitely suited the lineup well. With only one opener that I’ve never heard of, Alberta Cross, I couldn’t resist showing up early to see them as well.

Originally from the UK, currently based in NY, Alberta Cross couldn’t have been a better match for Portugal. The Man if they tried. Leaning more on the side of bluesy than psychedelic, Alberta Cross put on a fantastic set and won the crowd over instantly. If there were any doubters left in the crowd, they were won over during their second to last song “Rise From the Shadows,” a gospel infused bluesy rock song. I’m currently listening to it on repeat, and you should too – listen here. So good. I look forward to their next Philly stop, no matter who they’re playing with.

 

Looking back, I should have put off work stuff and ventured out in the cold to see Portugal. The Man‘s short set at Occupy Philly. I went against my better judgement, and now know better than to pass up any opportunity to see free live music. Anyway, back at the TLA these guys successfully had my attention before they even took the stage, which was scattered with life-size chemistry models. Not entirely sure how that set up came about, but it was very visually interesting, to say the least. Despite difficult lighting and lots and lots of smoke, I managed to get some cool looking photos. At one point I was so caught up with my camera settings that I didn’t realize that they were covering “Helter Skelter.” When I finally realized it, all I could think was, “Damn, these guys are good!” I’m so glad that I got the chance to experience their live set, and have already downloaded all of their albums. Now I can fully prepare for their next Philly show as well.