[8 September 2010]
This July 30th set by French indie-crossover conquistadors Phoenix at London’s iTunes Festival opens with ethereal synths that can’t help but evoke Air, the band’s most famed associates. But Thomas Mars and his band mates quickly reassert their own claim to their own fame with a warmly-received take on their new modern-rock classic “Lisztomania”. The rest of this truncated live EP hits the highlights of last year’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, although only the main set closer “Rome” and the expanded encore finale “1901” take on the sort of mythic dimensions that a live setting might promise. The latter is almost tantric with its tease of a fake ending, gradual reboot, and climactic synthetic symphony. Phoenix: iTunes Festival: London is no revelation to anyone who’s seen the band live already, but it demonstrates Phoenix tightening its lasso on the quarry of mass appeal.