Buzz Under the Stars Night 4: Portugal. the Man and Grouplove at Crossroads KC

Despite rain delays, Portugal. the Man and Grouplove gave their all at Crossroads Aug. 29As crowds filtered into the expanse of mulch that is Crossroads KC, none could have believed that the sky would be overtaken by storms later that night. Fans bought merchandise, dads monitored their kids, and teenagers applied face paint. All seemed well in the world.

Portugal. the Man came on stage fairly quickly after the opener. The band opened with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),” which transitioned into their radio hit, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” By this time, clouds were halfway across the horizon. People began to look fearfully towards the sky. The wind began to blow. Portugal. the Man performed a few more songs, frontmen Gourley and Carothers seemingly oblivious to the impending storm. Their performance during the pre-storm songs was admirable; they put their heart into songs such as “Waves” and “So American.” During their final tune before being forced to shut down the equipment due to lightning fears, a stage hand awkwardly attempted to signal to Carothers to stop playing while keeping off the stage. Eventually, a different employee informed the band of the situation. With wind bellowing and lightning illuminating the sky, they left the crowd to wait.

Initially there was no rain, only ominous clouds and a barrage of lightning. People milled around, waiting for the storm to purify the electric air that was building up. As the rain came, the VIP-ticket-holders were able to take shelter under an awning, while those in general admission were forced to face the rain and get soaked. Many cheered it on, seeing as their only obstacle to further concert enjoyment. They burst into group song, joyfully screaming hits such as “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and “All-Star” by Smash Mouth. After around 45 minutes, including a few false stops, the rain abated and the cloud cover took on a decidedly less sinister hue. Finally the crowd got the announcement that they yearned for. Portugal. the Man would take the stage again.

The post-deluge set of Portugal. the Man was a frenetic mix of clever covers and pop hits from their newest album, Evil Friends. Highlights included “Modern Jesus,” one of the most popular and well performed songs off of Evil Friends, and a cover of the tune “Dayman” from the FX show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Those that understood the reference went wild, and those who didn’t went wild anyways. The band closed with a cover of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis.

As soon as Grouplove took the stage their frenzied energy commanded the attention of everyone in the venue. They burst on to the stage with such zeal that even the most hardened heart could not help but smile. Lead vocalists Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi radiated pure happiness  as they performed in front of the audience. Beginning their set with the song “I’m With You” from their newest album, Spreading Rumors, they slowly but surely brought the energy of the crowd to a fever pitch. By the time they played their most popular song “Tongue Tied,” they had brought the people of Crossroads dancing in frenzied, unified motion. After performing a perfectly executed cover of “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce, the band fired off four more high energy anthems. The band ended their set with the aptly place “Colors,” but almost immediately came back on stage for an encore with Portugal. the Man. They covered “Baba O’Riley” by the Who.

Buzz Under the Stars Night 4 had everything a concertgoer could want: amazing bands, energetic performances, strange antics, drama (in the case of the storm), and a unified spirit brought on by collective hardships. The only negative aspect of the concert was that the sets were significantly shortened as a result of the rain. However, that can be overlooked after witnessing the joy had by the crowd even during the storm, because these concertgoers would not let anything rain on this parade.