After a bang-up job at Music Hall Of Williamsburg, Phoenix
set some pretty high expectations for their Friday night show at Terminal Five. Known as the least intimate of the Bowery venues, T5 is often reserved for big name acts who have already established a sound legacy, and devout followers.A few days ago I would not have counted Phoenix in such a category, but they completely shattered any possible disappointment or anxiety about their Manhattan appearance. The Parisian rockers managed to connect with a huge, music hungry mix of fans, ranging from day-one followers to casual Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
There was a lot of hype around these two sold-out shows. The crowd was clearly excited, even when relatively unknown opener Amazing Baby was announced and took the stage. The Brooklyn based indie was a good fit for the alt-pop rock centric Phoenix. A careful balance of synth and guitar riffs marks Phoenix's unique sound, and Amazing Baby has that sort of mix, with a distinct splash of psychedelics.
Phoenix themselves created a sort of panic, eliciting sing-alongs and rampant dancing with almost all of their set list, which included parts I and II of the epic "Love Like A Sunset," sleeper hit and new single "Lisztomania," and old favorites "If I Ever Feel Better" and "Consolation Prizes." Singer Thomas Mars manages to look both casual and excitable while he crooned, but never affected. His singing contains none of the droll of the band's accents (only noticeable in one on one conversation), instead trading it for crisp sounding lyrics. Gutarist brothers Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai did plenty of jumping around too; make no mistake, this is a band full of energy. They played the kind of show that made new fans sing along to old songs they'd never heard before, full of adrenaline and appetizing music.
Unfortunately, the New York dates come towards the end of Phoenix's US tour. Lucky middle America and west coast fans will catch one of their sold out shows in the next few days, but the rest of us will be eagerly awaiting their stateside return for a September Summerstage show (or 2) in New York City (with support from it-band Passion Pit) and the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. For now, we'll all have to settle for WAP
on repeat while dancing on the sidewalk, with fond memories of an elongated "1901" amidst flashing lights and screams, closing one of 2009s best. - joe puglisi
Phoenix on Tour
06/23 - Varsity - Minneapolis
06/25 - Bluebird - Denver, CO
06/27 - Spectrum Music Festival @ RegencyCenter- San Francisco, CA
06/28 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles, CA
9/25 - Summerstage @ Rumsey Playfield - New York, NY
10/02 - Austin City Limits - Austin, TX
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Review:Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Phoenix on Myspace