T’was A Glass Box Of Emotion: Alt-J And Portugal The Man Rocked The Armory


Ron Burgundy and concerts in Minneapolis don’t have a lot in common on the surface; sure they’re both pretty hot and lively, and always amusing – but they also share (now) a glass case of emotions. What the heck does that mean? Read on 🙂 

Starting out for the night we had an opener that was announced nearly right before the show: Windser. A solo act joined by friends, California native Jordan Topf wowed the audience as we filled into the Armory. After isolating in the northern Cali hills to find musical inspiration a few years ago, Windser has been making waves across the country. The cutest part about their set was when they shout out to their mom in the audience; she flew all the way from cali just to see him play and open for Portugal and Alt-J.

The lights came on between sets as I ran over to the bar to get my usual devilish-duo of spiced rum and cherry coke: a classic ever since my first Armory show back in 2019 (Jonas Brothers – remember none of it. I was in college, okay?!). 

Portugal the Man came out with a beautifully moving tribute to native Americans and local tribes, and representatives from different tribes took to stage to share a few words and a welcoming to a land that our ancestors took from their people. It was a good reality check as the band (Portugal) is from Alaska, where they are very involved and supportive of native tribes and movements. The music that commenced was almost like a second act to the show as they came out with almost like a heavy-metal vibe, going more indie eventually, and somehow genre merging as they did a rendition of the “Night Man /Day Man” song from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I was dying as the crowd raised their hands and sang along. They played some of their classics as well as some newer hits I couldn’t recognize but I am listening to them as I write this and DAMN. 

Another set change – and a glass box on stage later (?!?!) – Alt-J took to stage in a literal glass case of emotion.

Folks – we’ve seen a lot in our industry but this was just something else. When a band claims to be “Alternative” that can mean a lot of things – but rarely does that have to do with set design? Ha. It was truly crazy to adjust to this dynamic but Alt-J still ripped off their hits to our listening pleasure. I was so sold on these guys and this show that I bought at T-shirt AND a poster just so I could never forget it. Alt-J rained on with their killer beats and catchy choruses as we expected; and wowed us continuously like a school of music fish in a bowl on stage.

These bands have been in my life since 2012 when I got my first soccer video game – FIFA 12. I spent hours after classes playing this game and jamming to hits from both of these alternative/indie icons. The fact I finally got to see them in one night at the same place – was truly special. 

See you at the next show!