GroupLove & Portugal. The Man

On September 12th, the bands GroupLove and Portugal. The Man as well as opener Typhoon came to Merriweather Post Pavilion as part of the Honda Civic Tour. The major aspect of this show was not just the music, but the artwork made by GroupLove’s Hannah Hooper, and Pourtugal. The Man’s John Gourley, with posters and pictures of their art displayed throughout the pavilion.

Hannah Hooper and John Gourley - Lil Homie

Back to the music: the opener band, Typhoon, was hardly worth the early arrival time: a typical opener band. Unmemorable and underperforming without a large stage presence, most concertgoers preferred to walk around the pavilion purchasing merchandise or exploring the artwork. One feature of Typhoon making them unique was the brass ensemble made up of a mellophone, trumpet, and a trombone. Typhoon had a relatively short setlist, just long enough to grab a quick snack. After being asked about her opinion towards the band, senior Margaret O’Meara replied with “I wasn’t really paying attention to them, I was busy eating.” The food at MPP is definitely lacking in style. At a whopping $11 for a small meal comparable to that of the dollar menu at McDonald’s, many concertgoers preferred to bring their own food in a picnic basket and lounged on the lawn during downtimes.

After Typhoon, it was a necessity for the next band to wake the audience back up, and Portugal. The Man did exactly that. Starting off with their hit song “Purple Yellow Red and Blue”, Portugal. The Man got the entire crowd on their feet dancing and bumping to the mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. The unique art style of Portugal. was not forgotten as the backdrop screen to the stage projected images of alien landscapes and animals with numerous eyes, mouths, legs and noses in all the wrong places. Mixed in with fast-paced songs about “living in ecstasy” and “Evil Friends” were some slow, melodious tunes such as “Waves”, featuring a spectacular light show with blue lasers moving like waves in the ocean, getting the entire audience waving their hands to the rhythm of the music. After the calm of the blue lights and relaxing tunes came the upbeat and exciting “Modern Jesus” finishing off their set with glow sticks tossed in the air, getting the crowd ready for the main performance of GroupLove.

The stage is pitch black and audience members chatting away when the slow rumble of “I’m With You”, the first song on their newest album Spreading Rumors, sets off the final performance of the night. The entire audience instantly stood on their feet cheering for the band as Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi jumped on stage belting out the lyrics. The band and audience fed off the energy of each other as the music got more and more energetic. Their cover of Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love” got the whole crowd crooning and dancing with the music. After a short interlude describing their history and how they met, they set off into a fan favorite “Shark Attack”, a loud, pumped up song setting the tone for the rest of the night. Crowd surfers and balloons floated over the pit, as concertgoers in the lawn danced and jumped to the fast paced tune. After this song, lead singer Hannah Hooper took on a more serious tone as she explained the band’s message of unity in art, asking the entire audience “raise your hand if you are an artist, whether it’s physical or not, we are all artists!” GroupLove finished off tphotohe night by blasting their top songs “Tongue Tied” and “Ways to Go”, songs that even non-GroupLove fans would recognize and get down to.

The inspirational lyrics and exciting light show of the band left the audience begging for an encore, which they were granted. After leaving the stage, both Portugal. The Man and GroupLove returned for a cover of The Who’s   “Baba O’Riley” by both bands. The combination     of the two resulted in a unique mix of indie, rock, and pop. The entire audience singing along, particularly to the chorus, everyone knowing to use their last  bit  of energy cheering as it was to be the last set   of the night. Overall, both bands had a fantastic  show, and the audience thought so too; when asked about her thoughts on the show, senior Emilyne Danielson described the show as “an incredible experience…. mesmerizing; I’m so glad I went”, a sentiment held by many of the crowd. Despite complaints by certain concerned patrons about security and safety, Merriweather proved once again to be a serene and relaxing venue for all type of concertgoers, whether you’re the type who dances or prefers lounging on the lawn, enjoying a grilled cheese and boardwalk fries.