I suppose I should not be shocked, but I really am. I expected to wake up this morning with reviews in papers, videos on YouTube or at least one photo somewhere, but none! It's like no one went to see Phoenix last night. But I did, and I know about 1000 others did to. I know people took photos, and I would have too, but I wisely positioned myself in the back after reading a big poster with "This concert will contain strobe lights!!" as I entered the venue. I haven't really had any problem with strobe lights for a lot of years, but the two times I passed out from them in the late 90's are still fresh in my mind :) And yepp, there were strobe lights for sure in this one. I was fine though..
ANYWAYS.. back to the concert. If it hadn't been for the Blur concert in Hyde Park this summer. (I am not sure anything will ever top that), this would have been the concert of the year for me for sure. Part of it can of course be due to the fact that I have wanted to see Phoenix for 5 years now, but it was all I expected. They started off the show with "Lizstomania" and "Long distance call". Very wise moves. We were all putty in their hands by then. What I like about Phoenix and have always thought was what makes their distinct sound is elegance. I mean these people grew up in the same city as the worlds most elaborate and luxury castle was ever built, Versailles. Some of the has to have rubbed off on them over the years. There is no mistakes in Phoneix music. The arrangements are amazing, every musician plays like it's the last night of his life playing, and behind it all this elegant little touch that I think must be french. I have no other description for it. It doesn't even matter that Thomas Mars (vocals) as usual in his blue shirt, have a slight little french accent. It just makes it better and more distinct. The music hits you like a wall of excitement, joy and bliss, before they stop for a perfect second and than goes straight back onto it. Amazing stuff. A statement more than anything is that I that was in the total back clinging to a bar disk and jumping up every now and them to catch a glimpse felt the excitement to the very last nerve. Of course I know the music and so on too, but I was not the only one that felt that way. I am sure.
Oh, yes, and Noah and the Whale did warm ups! It was very very good too. The same perfect balance between quiet and loud and made you just flow away at times
By the time we came to the encore the whole audience were more or less grooving around. Strobe light, yes, but man so many other good light effects too. At one point the light flashes in red stripes over the scene, the next light flows slowly out in a cable that is wired around the edges of all the amplifiers. Beautiful and powerful.
I had read the setlists from the former concerts this tour, because I was so curious, and I had noted to my delight that they played almost all my favorite songs, and they did :) "Funky Square Dance", "Consolation prizes" and "Napoleon says". In the former set lists I had seen that they usually have played two songs as encore, but this concert must have been as special as I thought. They did 5 encore songs including two great acoustic versions of "Everything is Everything" and "Love for Granted". At the end they just kept playing "1901" and it all ended up with about 40 audience members rocking along on stage. It's been a long time since I have felt such joy in one place :) Sigh, it was a good concert. I have a feeling we will see them on a bigger stage the next time :)
The soundtrack of this blog has been this clip from P3-sessions about 5 years ago. It gives you a bit of the energy of them: http://www1.nrk.no/nett-tv/klipp/45821 Yepp there are a lot of clapping at Phoenix concerts :) hehe And they have only gotten better since then.
Here is Mr Mars running around in the audience in Stockholm. I think he did that in Oslo too :)
Here is a good one from New York this summer that really gives you a feel of the atmosphere: