Portugal The Man / Belly Up / Aspen / March 19 / Tickets
There has to be some credit given for this band’s name alone — co-founder John Gourley once explained it as an attempt to create a demi-mythic entity bigger than the individual members. Formed in Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man (yes, there’s a period in the middle of their name) grew out of the ashes of Anatomy of a Ghost, a post-hardcore band whose vocalist and guitarist — Gourley and Zach Carothers, respectively — opted to continue working together. Rounding out the new band’s lineup was keyboardist/singer Wes Hubbard, himself a veteran of other Alaskan groups, and the trio eventually relocated from Alaska to Portland, Oregon.
Their initial existence in the Pacific Northwest was the typical hardscrabble life of a band with few resources, but drummer Jason Sechrist (formerly of Konmai Defense System) joined to form a more stable lineup. The band’s profile received a boost from the Internet (the musicians made heavy use of MySpace and PureVolume for promotional purposes), and Portugal. The Man released an initial EP in 2005 before issuing their debut album, Waiter: You Vultures!, in early 2006. The next year, the group (whose lineup had once again reverted to three members, as Hubbard had left and was replaced by touring keyboardist Ryan Neighbors), issued Church Mouth, whose aggressive sound bore traces of Led Zeppelin and Jane’s Addiction.