Tag Archives: Phoenix

Phoenix = hot

There are 3, maybe 5 bands…

Stars, The National, Broken Social Scene, maybe Mates of State

and for sure…Phoenix

Phoenix at the Varsity this week was one of those rare concert moments when you know you’re experiencing something special. We had a varied crowd of friends including Kay, Jen, Dave, Alex, Patrick, Roxie, Xian, Ding!mann, Emily, Abby, Erin, Jess, Jeff, Jesse, and Andy among others.The jaded (and aging) hipsters were into it. People were dancing, sweating, smiling. Jess said it was like our Woodstock. Substituting sweat for mud. And also I’m sure she meant the last Woodstock, not the original. But she was probably tripping balls when she said it. Kidding, Jess. Or were you? She said it at a movie screening the following night, so yeah, she probably was.

The Varsity had recently increased their seating capacity to almost double what it was, now at 800. Curiously there was no air conditioning and it was about 85 degrees that night, very humid. Varsity Theater, if you have it, use it. If you don’t please get it or you will lose my favorite venue tag. It was a sauna show but we didn’t mind. We stood up front, way closer than normal. We sang, clapped and danced more than we have at a show in…years? I think so. Easily the concert of the year. Excellent mix of songs from all four albums, no filler, no bathroom or beer breaks. The lights and staging were exciting with the beefed up six piece to flesh out the songs in full rock fashion to match their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix record (get it already). The transitions were tight. The band actually whipped up a crowd of seen-it-alls into a frenzy. They were showmen. The lead singer, Thomas Mars, joined us in the crowd for the last song, walking amongst us. Not above us, but our equal in fun and sweat. That’s the key. The band looked like they were enjoying it as much as us.

If I buy a t-shirt it must be something I’m proud to advertise. And 4 of my 6 rock shirts still in rotation are among those aforementioned bands. (One of the others is still good (Halloween, Alaska) but more on them in a concert review later this summer. And the other is now defunct or morphed into another band – Lftr Pllr “became” The Hold Steady.)

An idea of the show, just a glimpse:

The Star Tribune review was pretty right on for once.

Good news, you’ll have a chance to experience Phoenix this fall at First Ave. I don’t think it’ll ever be the same. We felt like we were seeing a band at their peak before they break through to the next level of stardom with bigger venues to distance you. But it should still be excellent. I’m sure I’ll be there. Hook up and meet us at the Rally. Maybe we’ll sweat less.
Maybe.

Phoenix at the Varsity

and R.I.P. P.Y.T.

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Metric

Wow. Metric at First Ave. Maybe I should have posted more from them earlier so you would have gone to the show, but enough of you (R, Jesse, Xian, Rox, Amber, Abby, Erin) did anyway and were treated to, as Pablo might say, a titillating time. My fave concert of the year so far. This one was a blast. Going to be hard to top.

Emily Haines of Metric at L.A. show

Emily Haines is practically aerobic during their whole set. She combines post punk lyrical couplets like “Buy this car to go to work. Go to work to pay for this car. (repeat)” with an surpassed strut and swagger.

“Sick Muse” and a few others like “Twilight Galaxy” and “Front Row” sounded better live than on the album, Fantasies (my second fave of the year so far).
The energetic bandmates fly through this souped-up take on an already great rocker, now made rocket.

Stadium Love – our whole family loves this one. Listen to the lyrics.
At First Ave they declared it their/our new anthem: Metric and fans. I’d been dying to hear it live and it was a fist-pumping-chant-along.

Next up…Phoenix (current fave record of the year) at Varsity on June 23.
This will give you an idea of how close I want to stand for this one. Like the old days. R reminded me of how we always used to have stand front and usually center. Now we’re usually content to be in back, elevated and near the bar. But if Napoleon Says…

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