Portastatic Nov. 18 at Schubas

I’m a latecomer to Portastatic (and before that, Superchunk — though I did see Superchunk open for the Mekons eons ago). But I adore the two most recent albums by Portastatic, including the great 2006 release “Be Still Please.” The band’s performances of the songs from that album and the last one, “Bright Things,” were really superb. This is essentially melodic indie pop (almost power pop at times), the sort of music that is performed in concert with a flat understatement. But Portastatic leader Matthew “Mac” McCaughan obviously isn’t one for that sort of performance; he gave it his all, including some highly energetic guitar solo. Margaret White’s violin playing gave the music a lovely feeling of orchestral pop. Portastatic capped off an excellent show by playing an unexpected cover — the Brazilian tropicalia hit “Baby” by Os Mutantes.

Opening act Benjy Ferree was fairly enjoyable. In my recent review of his CD, I harped a bit too much on the fact that he sounds like Jack White (at least as far as his vocals go). I still heard that similarity, but he’s no copy cat. He played his songs in an acoustic setting, accompanied just by cello, which brought out their folkie side.

Click here or on the picture above to see photos of Portastatic and Benjy Ferree.