Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thrival Festival - Day One Recap

Portugal. The Man. At Thrival Festival. All photos (c) PMR.
A friend of mine is in from out of town, so I didn't make it over to East Liberty to Thrival until halfway through Talib Kweli's set. The crowd responded well to the set, even if, as Kweli noted, his was probably the first hip-hop concert for most of the people in attendance. 

Phosphorescent hit the stage next. In January, when Phosphorescent played Mr. Smalls, it was mostly a one man gig, with the band exiled to the corners of the stage. The songs never really picked up, and Houck did this weird five minute thing with tape loops that cleared out half the crowd. Well, tonight, Phosphorescent behaved like a rock band. Not only was the bass player swigging Jameson, but a number of the songs turned into lengthy jams that bordered on country-psychedelic.

Portugal. The Man headlined the evening. The announcer/MC, after asking everyone to applaud the corporate sponsors and buy tickets for tomorrow, introduced the band as "the best live band on Earth." Or some such superlative. Whatever it was, it wasn't far. The Alaska indie rock band was exceptional. They also had the trippiest light show this side of Pink Floyd. The band actually opened with a Pink Floyd cover - "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" - before launching into a medley of their own tunes. I left halfway through the set, to entertain my guest, during an Oasis cover. I never could get into the band's studio albums, but I remember thinking they were very good after seeing them at Smalls 4 or 5 years ago. If and when they next play Pittsburgh, don't miss it. 

Here are some photos:

Portugal. The Man.



Talib Kweli:



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