Phoenix has always reminded me of movies. Perhaps it's because the first time I heard them was as Bill Murray danced to "Too Young" in Lost In Translation. Or it could be because the band's frontman Thomas Mars is married to Sophia Coppola, the female heir to the directorial creativity of Francis Ford. And though their music certainly wouldn't have suited the Godfather soundtrack, I do feel that Mars and co. create music with a filmmaker's sentiment.
Last night, their performance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn made this association with film more evident as the band performed songs off their recently released record, Bankrupt!, with intriguingly cinematic back-lights of color bars, static, and others. A few months back, I spoke with Mars and asked him which type of film Bankrupt! would be best suited to soundtrack. He answered, "If Fellini made a sci-fi project." But last night, near the end of the show, there was a instrumental moment where Mars, while laying down on the stage, gazed at the backdrop where a burning red light slowly rose behind drummer Thomas Hedlund reminding me of the epic introduction of 2001: A Space Odyssey. While I'm certainly trailing off with this, one could perhaps identify a domino effect of admiration; we watch Thomas lay on the stage, Thomas gazes into the worlds of Fellini or Kubrick or Coppola. All creative conspiracy theories aside, the Frenchmen put on one hell of a performance of Bankrupt! tunes with a heavy sprinkling of old standbys, which surely left a lasting impression on the New York metro area. Check out the photos below (unfortunately I was shooed out of the photo pit prior to the inspirational red light moment.)