PNE forum might not be the prettiest concert venue in town but it didn’t stop Portishead from making it their magical lair for the evening. Gentle, complex, powerful and mesmerizing at the same time, the band from Bristol delivered a brilliant set starting off with “Silence” off their critically acclaimed third album aptly named “Third”. It is always surprising when you hear songs from the bands that sound predominantly electronic played live. Done well, the live performance can humanize the experience of listening such albums and Portishead last night breathed a fresh dose of awe into their already brilliant oeuvre.
The hits from their 1994 debut “Dummy” were, as expected, the biggest crowd pleasers but for me the highlight was the haunting stripped-down performance of Wandering Star. Beth Gibbons’ soul-tearing voice and Adrian Utley’s subtle yet gripping guitar flooded the Forum with goosebumps and chills.
Portishead are reportedly working on their next album and when they come back to Vancouver don’t miss the opportunity to experience truly one of the most unique and inspiring live musical performances.
Photos by Darko Sikman Photography