Together PANGEA brings their rebellious sound to Portland
In the foggy Portland Analog theater and cafe, LA rock group Together PANGEA played to a modest crowd. Its provocative lyrics and grungy edge give the band a distinct punk influence. People were in thrifted jackets, colorful hair and beanies. This weekend, the four-man group is finishing out their American tour in support of a new album, “Bulls and Roosters.”
Opener Tall Juan, an Argentinian rock guitarist and vocalist started off the show with feeling. He hopped around energetically, cracking jokes and inviting two audience members on stage to play the drums. Like Together PANGEA, he represents a unique mix of garage rock and punk.
Together PANGEA opened the set with “Alive” from their 2014 album “Badillac.” The audience started cheering and dancing as the dark and heavy guitar intro turned fast paced. The band sounded rebellious and energetic, mixing plenty of rough and smooth vocals. A group of teen girls with buzzed hair had already started a mosh pit. Between songs, frontman William Keegan smirked as he told the crowd: “You guys take care of each other in the pit though, okay?”
But in the middle of the third song, a particularly memorable security guard was already forcibly ejecting a rowdy teen boy out of the theater. The security guard seemed seven feet tall as he roughly elbowed through the crowd and yanked people down from attempts at crowd surfing. He had a long white beard and a huge tribal turtle tattooed on the back of his shaved head.
The band played crowd-pleasing classics, like “Snakedog,” “Too Drunk to Come” and “Sick Shit,” as well as new songs from its recently-released album “Bulls and Roosters,” including the retro-sounding rock song “Alison.”
Bassist Danny Bengston wrote three songs on the new album, including “Alison.” In an interview with the Emerald, Bengtson explained that the inspiration for that song came from real events in his life. “That is a real person. I’m actually going to see her in a couple days,” he said.
Keegan addressed the crowd before launching into “Peach Mirror,” another new track: “Can we play something a little chiller, a little nicer? Is that alright with you guys?” Chiller is a good description of “Bulls and Roosters.” It still sounds uniquely Together PANGEA, but it’s calmed down, and a lot of the punk influence isn’t there anymore.
The show ended a bit abruptly, but not before Keegan reached out to touch the hands of the fans in the front row. Audience members left sweaty, excited and slightly bruised, but happy.