The rock band known as Portugal. The Man made history this week by becoming the first professional musical act to perform at Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Anaheim, California. The performance, which took place right in front of the park's Millennium Falcon, will air later this month on ABC as part of two holiday specials.
"I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember anything," Zachary Scott Carothers, the band's bass player, tells SYFY WIRE. "We’ve played some amazing places, but I’ve never turned around to see our drummer and look up to see the Millennium Falcon. Wild. Both Disney and Star Wars have been gigantic influences on my life in a thousand ways. It’s where I come from. For this to come full circle and be a part of these stories going forward is extremely fulfilling."
SYFY WIRE has exclusive photos from the event, which you can check out below:
"The entire [park] really sucks you in and makes you feel like you’re in another world," adds Carothers. "Every single detail is unbelievable. The thought and work put into it was inspiring."
The band didn't just get to perform at Galaxy's Edge, they also got to partake in the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, which allows you to pilot the Falcon for a daring smuggler's mission in outer space.
"It’s so rad to be in control and work as a team. Rides are rides and games are games. It’s rare you get to have both. I’m excited to see what the future holds," says Carothers.
Currently, the Galaxy's Edge parks at Disneyland and Disney World are both ramping up for the introduction of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which drops fans into the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order. The immersive ride, which features appearances from new trilogy characters like Kylo Ren, comes to Disney World on Dec. 5 and Disneyland on Jan. 17.
And, of course, the band is excited for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which opens in theaters on Dec. 20.
"The Resistance storylines are so timely and important now as they were when the original was released," Carothers explains. "Art, music, and film are a guide. They’re supposed to reflect the times and give hope and inspiration on what to do in the future."
The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration premieres on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. In addition to Portugal. The Man, you can expect to see performances from Sting, Shaggy, Ingrid Michaelson, Andy Grammer, Ally Brooke, Emma Bunton, and Matthew Morrison. Morrison and Bunton will also be co-hosting the special with Jesse Palmer.
It will be followed by Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade on Dec. 25, on Christmas morning (check local listings for airtimes).
"I grew up in a small town in Alaska. My first family vacation was to Disney World. It was one of the first times I literally went anywhere unfamiliar," Carothers says, as he closes things out. "Exploring Epcot with my family and getting a taste of how big and different the world is really stuck with me. That’s probably why I do what I do. I want to travel around the world. See things. Talk to people. Learn about the world and the people in it."
Portugal. The Man scored acclaim for its 2017 hit song "Feel It Still," which won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2018.