(2 Oct 2013: Barclays Center New York)
“Lisztomania” was such a great hit off of Phoenix’s album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix that I was surprised to hear it amongst the first three songs while in the photo pit. If this was how the French band were gonna kick things off, what would they have in store for a finale? Well it turns out quite a lot and not just “1901”.
Even if the audience didn’t have an inkling as to how the night would turn out, they were primed right from the get go. When the band revved things up with “Entertainment!” the first track off their 2013 album, Bankrupt!, having built up tension with a video glimpse of them enroute to the stage, the crowd went wild. They followed up with “Lasso” and “Lisztomania” before I had to high tail it from the pit and make it towards my seat, and grab some fine cuisine (chicken tenders) along the way.
From up above, you could really see how the crowd surged under the lights. Song after song they reached for Thomas Mars. At one point, the instrumental stretch of “Love is like a Sunset”, Mars could be seen laying down on the stage while Laurent Brancowitz, Thomas Hedlund and Christian Mazzalai kept the music going. When the song reached its apex, giant fans kicked on sending confetti up into the air.
Shortly after, Mars made a spectacle of himself, bounding into the photo pit area where he gave the audience an up-close and personal rendition of “1901” and a more toned-down “Countdown”. Both sounded fantastic, though too many mobile gadgets were raised to “capture” the moment in crappy form. After a short break, the band returned to perform one of their earliest hits “If I Ever Feel Better” and soon Mars was brilliantly singing on top of a piano out on the opposite end of the general admission floor. But the band had one more surprise in store. During their final stretch of “Rome” and a reprise of “Entertainment”, the band invited a few members of the audience onto the stage, which quickly turned into a surge of bodies eager to share in the moment. Overall, the night proved that Phoenix could put on a terrific arena sized show while giving their fans more than they could have asked for.
Long Distance Call
The Real Thing
Too Young / Girlfriend
S.O.S. in Bel-Air
Run Run Run
Trying to be Cool / Drakkar Noir
Love is like a Sunset
If I Ever Feel Better / Funky Squaredance