The song at #66 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Live in the Moment” by alternative rock band Portugal. The Man. Originally from Wasilla, Alaska and now based in Portland, Oregon (they’ve sometimes referred to themselves as ‘Lords of Portland’), the band currently consists of John Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Sechrist, Eric Howk and Zoe Manville. They’ve released a fair amount of music since forming in 2004, but “Feel It Still,” from their eighth and most recent album Woodstock, was their breakthrough single. Following up on that monster hit, (which was my #1 song of 2017 and will be showing up later in this countdown), they hit the mark again with “Live in the Moment.”
It’s a gorgeous and electrifying track, with a hard-driving beat, sweeping synths, chugging guitars and soaring choruses dominated by John Gourley’s wonderful tenor vocals. The song lyrics are pretty deep with lots of hidden meaning, but they basically touch on subjects of religion and mortality: “Let’s live in the moment. Come back Sunday morning. Got soul to sell. When you’re gone goodbye, so long, farewell.” Toward the end it transitions to an almost church-like hymn with a dominant organ riff and chant-like vocals produced by computer text-to-speech software that sing “Oh, God, I can hardly believe my eyes. Wake up everybody you know. Come and watch the garden grow. I’ll see you when you get there.”
The imaginative and entertaining video shows the band riding in a car with a giant puppet of a guy skateboarding on top, being chased by another with a policeman puppet on top of that car.