Portugal. The Man at The Beach @ Governors Island

Governors Island is currently putting on day concerts, sandbox included, to the delight of New Yorkers looking to take the edge off of a punishingly hot summer season.  Take the train to the bottom of Manhattan and grab a Water Taxi at Pier 11 and head on over to an island filled with people and music. At night, they light up plastic, neon palm trees, to further foster the faux beach vibe. From the edge of the island, one can grab images of downtown Manhattan and New Jersey’s skyline – the perfect backdrop to Saturday’s show with Portugal.The Man, Alberta Cross, and Hopewell. 

Hopewell at The Beach @ Governors Island

Openers for the day’s event were Brooklyn’s Hopewell.  Decked out in his trademark all-white jeans and t-shirt, Jason Russo dedicated “Stranger” to “all y’all who smell so good.” This, undoubtedly, was not meant for most of the sweaty crowd, including myself. Russo’s theatrical vocals and guitar work is always a joy to watch, leading Hopewell as they worked their magic on a hot Saturday with their thunderous guitars and tribal chanting during a perfect outing of “Island.”

Alberta Cross at The Beach @ Governors Island

Next up were perma-on-the-cuspers Alberta Cross from the U.K., now in NYC, whose newer tunes are markedly more rockin’ and fast-paced than their older jams.  The melodic guitars are still there and the energy of singer Petter Ericson Stakee was great to see in such a large setting.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about taking their photos though, as everything on stage was backlit, with fleeting moments of bright front lighting.  “Rise from the Shadows” was a wonderfully dark and moody piece with interchanging keyboard and organ accompaniment, During this set, Stakee took on the tambourine, channeling the ghost of a living Liam Gallagher, wherever he is these days. The band ended their set with the fast and brilliant “ATX.”

Portugal. The Man at The Beach @ Governors Island

Portugal. The Man at The Beach @ Governors Island

Originally from Alaska, headliners Portland-based Portugal. The Man put on an eclectic set complete with the heavy, guitar, head-banging “Chicago,” to the bluesy, soulful, “New Orleans,” to their trippy hooky pieces from their latest album American Ghetto. One cannot accuse these guys of being one dimensional, that’s for sure. Singer/guitarist John Baldwin Gourley’s enviable falsetto imbued many of the pieces with a deeper and appreciated resonance.  –Tear-n Tan, Photos by Tear-n Tan