Portugal. The Man joins Alaska indie musicians for Anchorage show opposing Ambler Road

Some of Alaska’s most well-known rockers are performing a free, limited-capacity show Thursday night at a downtown Anchorage art gallery to rally opposition to the construction of the controversial Ambler Road.

Grammy Award-winning band Portugal. The Man, Medium Build and Quinn Christopherson will perform at Akela Space at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The first-come show was initially planned as a secret performance, said Jovell Rennie, owner and co-founder of Akela Space. But word of the upcoming show spread rapidly on social media Wednesday.

Rennie said he now expects fans will line up at the door before the all-ages concert. The gallery has limited space and a fire capacity of 88 people, he said. He’s spending Thursday preparing the gallery and talking with neighboring businesses to give them a heads up about the show.

The bands are performing to raise awareness about the Ambler Road project and drum up opposition to the proposed 200-mile road, which would extend from the Dalton Highway through undeveloped land in the Brooks Range foothills.

The road would provide access to mineral prospects and connect roads north of Fairbanks to an area near Ambler and other villages. Opponents of the project believe the road will negatively impact the environment, wildlife and subsistence communities within the area.

Medium Build’s Nick Carpenter and Christopherson will also perform a benefit concert Friday night in Anchorage to raise money for a tribal school in Wainwright.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at