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Portugal. The Man brings alternative rock to El Paso

Portugal. The Man will be performing at the Plaza Theatre on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of Portugal. The Man Facebook

Portugal. The Man will be performing at the Plaza Theatre on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

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Known by many alternative and indie rock fans for their recent hit, “Feel It Still,” from the album “Woodstock,” Portugal. The Man arrives to the Sun City at the height of their career as part of their 2017 October and December tour. The band is set to take the Plaza Theatre stage in Downtown El Paso on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Portugal. The Man, featuring members John Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Sechrist and Eric Howk, started in the early 2000s in the small town of Wasilla, Alaska (though have since relocated to Portland, Oregon), and earned minor critical acclaim following their fourth album, 2009’s “The Satanic Satanist.” But even with their growing and faithful fan base, and after making its major label debut on Atlantic with 2011’s “In the Mountain in the Cloud”—an album that features fan favorites such as the string-heavy “So American” and symphonic “Sleep Forever”—the band has failed to find chart success. Until now.

On Oct. 4, Portugal. The Man knocked off Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” with “Feel It Still” to top the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. The new champion snapped the 29-week reign of Imagine Dragons’ “Believer,” the second-longest holding in the chart’s eight-year history. Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens” holds the all-time record of 30 weeks at the top (2016-17).

The song even reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Sept. 30 and held the number one spot on the Alternative Songs chart for 13 weeks.

The album “Woodstock” was released on June 16, with “Feel It Still” dropping three months prior on March 3. The album’s title of “Woodstock” was inspired by an original 1969 Woodstock music festival ticket stub owned by Gourley’s father.

While highlighted by “Feel it Still,” “Woodstock” features nine other songs: “Number One (featuring Richie Havens and Son Little),” “Easy Tiger,” “Live in The Moment,” “Rich Friends,” “Keep On,” “So Young,” “Mr Lonely (featuring Fat Lip),” “Tidal Wave” and “Noise Pollution (featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Manville).

Portugal. The Man’s current tour will feature performances from this new album, along with some old favorites from previous albums such as “Evil Friends” and “In The Mountain in the Cloud.” Attendees can expect performances of the band’s top three songs from “Evil Friends:” “Modern Jesus,” “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” and “Evil Friends.”

The Alaskan indie band’s rise into the mainstream with “Feel it Still” helped them attract the attention of sponsors such as Coca-Cola’s privately owned subsidiary Energy Brands and their drink Vitaminwater. “Feel it Still” was used on Vitaminwater’s summer 2017 commercial.

Portugal. The Man is no stranger to the El Paso area. “In the Mountain in the Cloud” was recorded at the famed Tornillo, Texas studio, Sonic Ranch, in the summer of 2010.

In a 2013 interview with What’s Up, Gourley talked about his experience recording at Sonic Ranch.

“We went out there, and right off the bat it’s such an amazing studio. The dude (Tony Rancich) has everything you’d want to use on a record. It’s almost overwhelming to walk in there,” Gourley said. “Just amazing groups have recorded there since we were there. I’ve noticed that­—nothing to do with us, it’s such an amazing place – it’s been kind of blowing up.”

Other cities the band recorded their 2011 album in were London and San Diego.

This week the band will perform at the popular music festival Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas, as well as next week on Oct. 15 and at The Van Buren in Phoenix on Oct. 12, before traveling to the Sun City.

Tickets range from $25-$58 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the Plaza Theatre box office.

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