This may be a rhetorical question, but … Why isn’t Phoenix everywhere yet? From CD to live show, this is a band that is polished, tight and unquestionably brimming with potential. Seriously, get the producers of The O.C. on the horn now.
Phoenix was almost so flawless on Monday night that I found it unsettling. When a band feels so impenetrable, you try hard to find something at which to pick. The only thing I could come up with was that singer Thomas Mars came out in a peacoat. A peacoat?!? It’s still like almost 100 degrees outside. Of course, he shed it during the first song, Napoleon Says (must have been on the set list: “strip peacoat in first song.”). Oh, and he was skinny. Really, really skinny. Jerk.
The band’s set was either impeccably tight or soul-lessly choreographed. I’m leaning toward the former because I don’t want to feel like I’m that jaded quite yet. Even when Phoenix appeared to be playing off the cuff a bit, it had the feeling of being well-rehearsed, which, I realize, is probably a lousy thing to nitpick. The band is as clean and civilized as you could hope, and I was pleased to see Phoenix be bold enough to play the hit single (Long Distance Call) second in the set list and still hold sway over the crowd throughout the night.
Honestly, my only complaint was with the venue, Martini Ranch, which usually is reserved for horrid cover bands (are there any other kind?) and superficial Scottsdale outings. The lighting, especially those terrible stage spotlights, was obnoxious during Phoenix’s set; it’s the band that’s not supposed to be able to see the fans, not the other way around.
Everything is Everything (live)
(From an Astralwerks compilation passed out at the show)
(Thanks to Forrest for providing the digital camera for the evening.)