While technically the calendar would have us believe that we had just entered into the fall months, heading to Central Park a few Fridays back to catch Phoenix at SummerStage would have had you believing otherwise, as the sold-out crowd was ready to bask in one of the last outdoor concerts of the season at the city’s most serene and picturesque venues.
For the Parisian band, 2009 has shaped up to be their breakout year which kicked off with a rare three-song performance on Saturday Night Live before their latest and critically acclaimed album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix had even hit stores. Throw in a much buzzed about late-night set at Bonnaroo and sold out shows around the country, and they’ve made certain that they were no longer being referred to just as “that French band not called Air”.
[All Photos by Jeremy Gordon]
You could feel a genuine pulse in the energy of the crowd as the stage lights dimmed and Phoenix hit the stage igniting a huge roar of approval when the band jumped right into the bouncy opening piano chords of their seemingly ubiquitous single Lisztomania – causing people to do something you generally don’t see outside a jamband concert – dance.
READ ON for more of Jeff’s thoughts and Jeremy’s photos on Phoenix…
Giving what their visibly excited fans came there for, Phoenix tore through their 90-minute-plus set playing their high-energy brand of electro-disco-rock. Leaning heavily on material from their latest album, songs like the percussively jumpy Lasso, slow hypnotic funk of Fences and blissed-out, synth-rocker Girlfriend received some of the biggest reactions of the night.
After a smattering of older tunes that most in the crowd – including myself – were unfamiliar with, the band brought the energy back big time with a pulsing Rome. Phoenix upped the ante when lead singer Thomas Mars climbed the speaker stacks during the band’s extended encore, as they closed the night out with the infectious 1901 that had the entire crowd singing along long after they exited the park.
HT’s resident photog Jeremy Gordon took this fantastic shots of Phoenix and their opening act Passion Pit…