The scent of a Genius | Gigs of the week | Perfume Genius @ Braga

Damn, we go way back – the first time we saw Perfume Genius, in Lisbon at Super Bock Super Rock it was love at first sight. We even hugged – to be honest he hugged a fair amount of people, but it was special nonetheless. Now, it was Braga’s turn in the beautiful Theatro Circo for the Festival Para Gente Sentada.

There are a lot of words that I can use to describe the musical alter-ego of Mike Hadreas but the one that pulls me the most is magical. His music is a constant celebration of love, loss, heartbreak and the dark times in life. A genuine chronic of how hard life is and how vulnerable it makes people. Perfume Genius is more than a musical project, it is life described through melody and dance

During a Perfume Genius concert you go through so many emotions: you feel happy, blue, beaming with light, and also getting into the darkness of a hurt soul. It’s more than music, it’s the expression of this human’s life and it’s beautiful to watch.

The music is captivating, the moves enchanting – everything is careful thought out but also done with beautiful poise and elegance – you can’t take your ways from Mike Hadreas while he’s on stage. He draws beautiful lines with his body – in a sensual way, seductively attracting the public.

No life is easy, but Mike describes his own as if it were an open book, and how beautiful it is. He’s raw in his lyrics – describing the toughest times he has gone through – and there have been a lot – a life of excess that has now been quit with a lot of pain attached to the process. This is truly the work of a damged, beautiful soul. I could stay here and tell you which songs were sung and which ones got the most applause, but all of them were. We were in a beautiful venue, quiet, mesmerized with the music captivated by our ears and processed by our brain, with the view of a man, telling his life without shame or prejudice and the atmosphere in the venue was accepting, free and just plain beautiful – I’m fully aware of how many times I’m saying it was beautiful – but it was, just was…

Braga opened their hearts to Perfume Genius and his golden suit – and Portugal wants more and more. It’s not always you see such an honest musician accompanied by an amazing band – for almost two hours it was almost like a motion biography and we can’t wait to see them all again.

But that was one of two amazing musicians we saw last night. Noiserv, the amazing David Santos made us go through his imaginary by creating stories with his melodies – all played by himself using a loop recorder. And it was as amazing as the first time we saw him way way way back.

Words: Joana Paiva