KCRW returned to Century City with a proverbial vengeance this past Saturday, bringing the second of three free shows to the lawn between the Century Plaza Towers. Portugal. The Man. was the featured band and this time around, the line to get into the Annenberg Space for Photography was even longer. Still, I recommend arriving early and checking out the epic Who Shot Rock and Roll exhibit, which I reviewed last week.
DJ Dan Wilcox began the night’s musical ceremonies with some fine offerings from the KCRW quiver of eclectic arrows. Included were several savage T. Rex covers from the free EP being given away. T. Rex proved a recurring theme as once Portugal. The Man. took the stage, their Alaska-descended, guitar-driven rock tossed several T. Rex covers into the mix as well, including Slider and Children of the Revolution. Although the homespun metal styling’s of Portugal. The Man. are 100% original, it was their cover The Beatles’ Helter Skelter that stood out from the unique pack. Portugal. The Man’s. own work stands in a league of its own, vaguely calling to mind 70s stalwart Yes, with imaginative, semi-conceptual song structures.
Portugal. The Man. also handled the visual component of their performance with a flourish, their stage adorned with a string of psychedelic pearls, reminiscent of rainbow octopi. The venue between the Century Plaza Towers seems to be at the moment without any name.
I asked around. A lot.
If more concerts than just KCRW’s fine efforts find their way here, I suggest a befitting moniker. The recently built CAA headquarters and the mid-century era skyscrapers make for an unexpected locale for a concert, but given the success of these free shows, we’ll hear of something soon enough, I’m sure.
The last of these three free shows, sponsored the Annenberg Foundation, returns on Saturday August 4th with Band of Skulls and Rafael Saddiq.