Portugal – the surprise I wasn’t expecting

The Black Mamba, Portugal, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 11 May 2021
The Black Mamba, Portugal, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 11 May 2021

I posted earlier that I wanted to be surprised today, and I am, by Portugal. I’m not a fan of this song, or this as a musical style, but credit where it’d due this is good staging.

It’s still a band set up, as in the Festival da Canção, but now utilising this vast Ahoy stage and its impressive backdrop, which features an animation of an orchestra, and giving the impression of a much fuller stage.

It begins, as in Portugal, in black and white with a Wizard of Oz style transition into colour after the first chorus. There are no Munchkins or enchanted worlds here though, just the song delivered solidly.

The dropdown LED wall over the arena is used to show animation of a woman strolling down a street, and this is mirrored by lead singer Tatanka strolling along the walkway to the satellite stage, where he picks up his guitar to play a solo.

The whole things bores the hell out of me personally, but this is a well-executed presentation of a song that has no similar challenge this year. When I hoped for surprises, I didn’t think I’d be saying Portugal might qualify, but I think they’ve done enough with this to give themselves a chance.

Monty x

Image Credits: EBU / Thomas Hanses .

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