I was still relatively unfamiliar with Phoenix months ago when Sean asked me if I wanted to go to this show (The show was last Saturday.) I liked a few of their songs but hadn’t dipped too much into any of their albums but something in me said “I bet it will be fun.” Damn glad I accepted because this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever gone too.
It was a long and confused road to the Showbox Sodo with Sean’s phone giving us the shaft on directions but somehow with Colin’s determination everything eventually came together. We got there about a half hour before the doors opened and were even lucky enough to see some pre-show puke! We eventually got in a little later than advertised but managed to snag some close spots to the stage.
Opening Act: The Soft Pack
The Soft Pack, who I’d actually heard of from one of my regular searches for new music opened the show at about 8:09. I wasn’t particularly excited to see the San Diego quartet but I did enjoy snippets of their set, especially their catchy lead single “Extinction”. They were more or less your typical indie rock band with hints of pop/punk. Kind of reminded me of a more “collegy” take on the Buzzcocks or something… I bet they like The Pixies too. Anyhow they could of just as easily been playing in some nowhere bar, they were fine just forgettable.
Headlining Act: Phoenix
Of course it was a long wait before the French Five-some took the stage but when they finally did the audience went ecstatic. “Listzomania” opened the show and it was hard not to get into when you’re deep within a group of bobbing concert goers watching such an energetic band. Lead singer Thomas Mars was a true showman and his interactions with the audience only made the experience that more exciting.
Phoenix’s sound was just as finely tuned as their studio work and their musicianship was as equally impressive. I think Sean, Colin and I were all as pretty blown away by the group’s drummer Thomas Hedlund (why he’s not an official member I’m not sure.) Hedlund’s parts translated brilliantly to the stage and he even stood up occasionally while playing, I’m all about that. The live setting definitely pumped some electricity into Phoenix’s catalog. Songs that used to seem more mellow like “Long Distance Call” and “If I Ever Feel Better” now totally rocked and they basically played every song you could of asked for. I mean nine tracks out of the ten from their last album? That’s awesome, as I’m still of the opinion that their last release is their best.
The group was very grateful towards the audience and Thomas Mars constantly thanked everyone for their support. They even gave a shout out to Federal Way…. Federal Way? It was just hilarious to see a French band who rarely makes to the Pacific Northwest say that and you had to love them for it.
The Show ended with a glorious rendition of “1901” that had everyone hopping up and down, myself included. Afterwards Thomas Mars reappeared at the back of the room surfing the crowd back to the stage. Colin was definitely part of that but I basically just reached my hand in for a touch… But not in any sexual way. It seemed surprising that Phoenix was playing such a small venue but it in the long term I’m glad they did.
Long Distance Call
Love Like A Sunset
Everything is Everything
If I Ever Feel Better