Check out more photos from the show: https://www.baeblemusic.com/photos/7-10-2018/brooklyn-steel/phoenix.html
Nine years ago I went to my first ever concert. I was 12, basically a fetus. A tall awkward fetus. The venue was Barton Hall at Cornell University, and the band was Phoenix
. Still to this day it was one of the greatest concerts I've ever attended. It was only right that I was accompanied by my extremely French father, as months leading up to the concert, we would sing our hearts out in his 2000 Toyota Camry to every single song on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
, the breakout album for the electropop Frenchies. I worshipped that CD. I would take the little book out of it and study the lyrics to every song. I would sit alone in my dad's car, parked in the driveway, and listen to it over and over (I swear I had friends). Because my dad is French, I felt like I knew them, because I felt like he
knew them. When I was little I guess I figured that Phoenix is French…my dad is French…they must know each other! I was so logical. Anyways, this isn't a review of the concert from nine years ago, so I'll be brief. We got there as early as possible, and were basically front row. It was too loud for my dad so he went to the back, meanwhile I stayed in front and jumped up and down to "Lisztomania" with a bunch of college kids. I felt so cool. I touched Thomas Mars' foot when he stage dove…it was quite the moment for little 12-year old me.
Nine years later, my dad still drives his 2000 Toyota Camry…and he still listens to CDs. I still have my Wolfgang shirt, with the neckline cut off, because I guess that was the cool thing to do back then. Last night, Phoenix played their fourth show at Brooklyn Steel, and although my Dad couldn't make it, it was nothing short of mesmerizing. Nine years later Phoenix are the same suave French dudes with shaggy hair and skinny jeans. And we're talkin' the tightest and skinniest of jeans. Once I entered the venue I starting slightly freaking out because everything was Phoenix themed. Their album cover was drawn onto the mirrors in the bathroom...an obvious mirror selfie opportunity.
They had a Phoenix vending machine with Phoenix underwear and necklaces and signed CDs. I asked a security guy which Phoenix t-shirt I should buy because my mom wouldn't respond to the pictures I sent. I bought the opposite of the one he chose…and then ten minutes later exchanged for the one he chose. A day later and I'm still questioning if I made the right choice. What is wrong with me?
Before they came out, I chatted with some of the other photographers, excited to share that Phoenix was my first ever concert blah blah blah. Well no one was impressed. For one dude, this was his 6th time seeing Phoenix, and one of the times was at MSG when Daft Punk came out. I was like oh yeah…well my Dad's French! And he knows them! Just kidding I didn't say that. My dad doesn't know them.
The band came out and I froze…then after 20 seconds I realized I was suppose to be taking photos. Then I realized I probably should've brought ear plugs. They started with a song off of their most recent album Ti Amo
, but I must've blacked out with excitement because I cannot remember which song it was. The guitarist kept giving me weird eye contact and I was like, give it a rest buddy boy, Thomas Mars has my heart. I'm not going to lie though, Thomas seemed a little slow moving, and kept kneeling down and putting his hands on his head like he had a migraine. I was worried…and then I realized again that I was suppose to be taking pictures. In my head I was thinking…Thomas…I have Ibuprofen in my backpack…if you need it…just let me know…I'm right here.
The light show was like nothing I've ever seen before. Incredible boomerang material. After three songs I moved up to the balcony section to get the full view…until a gigantically tall man stood in front of me. I wanted to flatten him with a giant hammer like from an episode of Looney Toons. Luckily I'm strong on my tippy toes. Phoenix did an amazing mix of songs, the most being from Wolfgang. "Lizstomania", "Rome", "Girlfriend", "Love Like a Sunset", and of course "1901". There was one song where Mars prefaced it with a little story about the time he saw Prince when he was 8 years old, and Prince told the crowd to wave their arms back and forth during the chorus. He wanted us to do that, and he explicitly said the chorus only. Of course, 2 seconds into the song we had an awkward ¼ of the room waving their arms back and forth. His accent is not that thick people, he said chorus.
After about an hour and fifteen minutes, the band left…but obviously they were coming back because there were 500 balloons in a big net on the ceiling that hadn't yet been dropped. The encore contained the most action, as Thomas Mars hopped down into the crowd and slowly walked through touchy fans…girls were kissing him on the cheek and guys were grabbing him by the shoulders. And I was thinking, damn those people are getting quality Instagram content...selfies with Thomas Mars. I was behind a guy posting out of focus videos of every single song to his Instagram story. He even went on Apple Music during the show to look up the spelling of the song "Fior di Latte". Then every few minutes he would watch his own Instagram story. He seemed cool.
Ok where was I…oh yes, Mars was making his way through the crowd, then the place went black, and the phone rang. Some unfunny drunk guys kept yelling "I'll get it". Then Thomas Mars appeared in a phone booth, and started talking on the phone, which projected into the room. It was pretty cool.
The show ended with "1901", lots of jumping up and down, and Italian colored balloons falling into the crowd. It was a special moment for me. Visually and sonically, Phoenix is amazing live. It is an experience you won't ever forget. To all the dads out there, maybe take your 12-year old daughter or son, because they won't forget it either.
Ti amo, je t'aime, I love you Phoenix.