Words by Harriet Kaplan. Photos by Ricardo Curiel

A fun night of danceable funky music and much more was offered up on Sunday, August 6th at the Hollywood Bowl in southern California. Portugal. the Man, Chicano Batman and Say She She came to the Los Angeles area! Though they all shared commonality, the first act Say She She was particularly energetic, Portugal. the Man and Chicano Batman went beyond mere entertainment in getting the sold-out crowd on their feet.

The headliner GRAMMY Award Winning band Portugal. the Man, from Alaska, blew the collective minds of concertgoers with a performance that could only be best described as unique, inventive, creative and dynamically power. They brought to the Bowl an amazing truly unforgettable live show.

Thirteen songs were performed but the show actually felt quite a bit longer in the best sense of the word. The new album, Chris Black Changed My Life, Portugal, was a primarily source of material of the set. Chris Black was their chief hype man and supporter, and a close friend of the band. His death was an inspiration for the new album’s title and was a tribute to his memory.

However, Portugal. the Man quickly got their smash hit out of the way right away, the 2017 single “Feel It Still,” right out of the gate. Then they launched into something entirely different and left field. Next, the set went right into this otherworldly, free-form, psychedelic jam-session. Think of Yes and King Crimson as stylistic touchstones. In fact, projected overhead were these weird, off-kilter images of old-time cartoons, nature scenes plus footage of dinosaurs. All of combined to serve the very different performance. There was a medley of covers included that was diverse as Yes’ “Heart of the Sunrise,” the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” Slayer’s “South of Heaven” and Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell.” The cover material seemed to be used and built around the group’s own songs, as an example, “All Your Light (Times Like These).”

Amidst the unpredictability of the set, legendary singer/songwriter/producer Paul Williams sung the praises of Portugal. The Man via video clips and appeared onstage. As did Charlie Day and “Weird” Al Yankovic. At the Bowl, they did appear together to help along and sing “Who’s Gonna Stop Me,” this was a collaboration between Yankovic and Portugal. the Man. This powerful song was released back in for Indigenous People’s Day in 2020.

Expanding on this social conscious theme, there was a pre-set speech and memorable organic musical performance from a member of the indigenous community. The potent message was one of preserving the delicate balance between Mother Earth and humanity. This did serve an important and urgent extension of the band’s commitment to help the indigenous population of its home state of Alaska.

On another personal note, the plight faced by band leader John Gourley was addressed. Frances, his daughter has a very rare neurological disorder. In fact, a GoFundMe page which was set up by Gourley and his wife, Zoe, for Frances that goes in more detail about her condition and pressing work needed to find a cure.

Portugal. The Man really defied expectations as a musical entity and live act based on this Hollywood Bowl performance. They pushed the boundaries across the board delving into fearless, daring exploration and experimentation of the music. It being more than a performance, it was an experience that engaged all senses. This show will go down in the books as one of the best of 2023 with its crowning hallmark of sheer originality.


Feel It Still
Plastic Soldiers
Creep in a T-Shirt
Modern Jesus
Purple Yellow Red and Blue
Dopesmoker / Heart of the Sunrise / Heavy Games II / Bellies Are Full / Grim Generation
Summer of Luv (Queen’s “Somebody to Love”… more )
All Your Light (Times Like These) / A Kilo / Black Dog / South of Heaven / Cowboys from Hell / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) / Mornings
Time’s a Fantasy (Paul Williams comes on stage… more )
Who’s Gonna Stop Me (with “Weird Al” Yankovic)
Day Man (Charlie Day cover) (with Charlie Day)

Los Angeles, CA-based Chicano Batman offer an alternative synthesis of late 1960s and early 1970s soul, psychedelia and Tropicalia. They offer up a modern indie rock sensibility. The set was also emotionally cathartic. Frontman Bardo Martinez is a confident and flashy focal point possessing a funky swagger ala James Brown. He sings effortlessly in Spanish and English which echoes the Chicano roots of the band.

Chicano Batman does have this natural ability to transform and redefine genres. Increasingly writing strong material powered by taking on social issues and addressing injustices besides the exclusively party trademark sound they are known for, Chicano Batman, is evolving and changing exhibiting a lot of growth in their musical journey.


Cycles of Existential Rhyme
Color My Life
Invisible People
Freedom Is Free
La manzanita
Moment of Joy
Manuel’s Story
She Lives on My Block
Losing My Mind Over You (with Say She She)
Run (with Say She She)
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It (with Say She She)
Black Lipstick (with Say She She)

The band radiated an amazing energy and a striking stage presence at the bowl during their scintillating 14-song set. The material was comprised from their self-titled debut, Freedom is Free, Invisible People and Cycles of Existential Rhyme. “”Color of My Life,” “Itotiani,” “La Manzanita,” “She Lives on My Block” and “Black Lipstick” and much more.

Chicano Batman really delivered cohesive and fluid performance of strong and striking instrumentation onstage live by all four members. It is born of a myriad, kaleidoscope of their references, their personal backgrounds and drive for musical exploration. They have an ear for retro and merge it with something new making it all their own.

The Brooklyn, NY-based Say She She was the perfect opener for the night at the Hollywood Bowl. Their high-energy, fast-paced, effervescent set, though roughly 30 minutes long, was totally memorable. It was great showcase for their talent and music. The trio sing powerfully and in harmony. They take their inspiration Nile Rodgers and Chic with nod to funk and disco-infused rhythms. Say She She is currently on a world tour until late September and “Astral Plane” is getting a lot of airplay and attention.

C’est Si Bon
Astral Plane
Blow My Mind
Forget Me Not
I Believe in Miracles (Jackson Sisters cover)

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