Monday, January 25, 2010

Swimming with Phoenix: Live report from 01.23.10

I think it's a safe bet that Phoenix won't be skipping Seattle on their next tour.

Armed with a veteran stage presence and material from four plus albums, the Frenchman had no trouble winning over the packed house, and overcoming the notoriously bad acoustics at the hangar-like Showbox SODO (where sound goes to die, since 2007). Starting off the night with the triple punch of crowd pleasers "Lisztomania ," "Long Distance Call" and "Lasso" will get the audience on your side, but truth be told, they could've mostly played old material and the crowd up front would've still been eating out of their hands. I went in assuming that all these youngsters would only be familiar with material from their 2009 breakout Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but there was plenty of recognition of material going back to 2000's United ("Too Young," "Funky Squaredance" and "If I Ever Feel Better").

The setlist sized up half AMP and the other half older material, which is a pretty good ratio to work with (scroll down for setlist and playlist). When they said goodbye the first time, dedicating "Rome" to Federal Way (must've stopped there on the way into town?), "1901" had yet to be played, so the encore mystery wasn't really a mystery at all. Yet they still surprised, coming back to play a stripped down version of "Everything is Everything" and the aforementioned "If I Ever Feel Better" before launching into their car commercial (video):

After the song came to its normal ending, singer Thomas Mars wasn't done, walking right by us through the crowd towards the mixing boards at the edge of the fenced off over 21/drinking area. From there, Mars 'swam' through the audience, passing by us once again on his way back to the stage, where he then invited all the folks in the front to come on stage for the final few chords of the night.

Playlist: Phoenix setlist - 01.23.10 Seattle (estimated)
1. "Lisztomania"
2. "Long Distance Call" (It's Never Been Like That)
3. "Lasso"
4. "Rally" (It's Never Been Like That)
5. "Fences"
6. "Girlfriend"
7. "Armistice"
8. "Love Like A Sunset Part 1"
9. "Napoleon Says" (It's Never Been Like That)
10. "Too Young" (United)
11. "Consolation Prizes" (It's Never Been Like That)
12. "Rome"
13. "Funky Squaredance" (United)
14. "Everything is Everything" (Alphabetical)
15. "If I Ever Feel Better" (United)
16. "1901"

The Soft Pack opened with an upbeat set that suffered a bit by the poor acoustics of the place. Still, if you squinted your ears just right, the songs "C'Mon," "Answer to Yourself," and "Pull Out" sounded pretty good. Will be interesting to hear them when they come back and play a better venue. Here's a playlist of a good chunk of the songs from their set:

Playlist: The Soft Pack - Setlist 01.23.10 Seattle

No comments: