Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man has played more than 800 shows in about five years, with little sign of slowing down. The band also releases an album per year like clockwork and hits Europe and Australia regularly.

“I don’t know a lot of bands who work like that year-round,” High Road Touring’s Matt Hickey, who began booking the band in 2009, told Pollstar.

Photo: Sean Berry

And the work is paying off. The Portland, Ore.-based (but Alaska-born) psych-pop band just wrapped up a North America headline tour that included sold-out dates at New York City’s Terminal 5 as well as in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.

The band’s appeal is not limited to the major markets, either, Hickey said.

“Unlike a lot of bands that can play, maybe, 10 or 15 markets, Portugal. The Man can probably do 40 or 50 in America,” Hickey said.  “I mean, they can do 1,000 people in San Antonio.” Headline stops in 2012 will include 1,000- to 2,500-capacity shows in secondary markets such as New Orleans, Tallahassee and Athens.

The recipe for success has been textbook artist development and a great team, Hickey said, with manager Rich Holtzman of TAO-The Artists Organization having the long-term vision for the band from the start.

Milestones for PTM include a 2009 radio hit with “People Say,” along with well- timed Bonnaroo and Coachella appearances. These have added momentum to the growth the band had been building all along, Hickey said. “It’s not just one show or record, but those are nice flags in the sand that kind of add to the overall big picture.”

Another first for the band is signing with Atlantic for its latest release, In The Mountain In The Cloud, having previously been on indie labels.

“They went looking for a partner with this record that can kind of help them continue to be Portugal. The Man and reach a larger audience,” Hickey said, adding that it’s been a good fit.

Photo: Sean Berry

The plan is to continue to play to new audiences, with the band currently doing 500- to 1,000-capacity clubs in Europe, then hitting Australia and Asia at the beginning of the year before doing secondary U.S. markets in the spring.

From there, they’ll do select festival appearances and possibly a bigger headline tour in the summer or fall.