Check out the full 30-photo Phoenix slideshow.
To cap off an amazing month of music at the Fillmore, alternative French poppers Phoenix chose the magic city as the final stop on their North American tour. Merci.
We showed up uncharacteristically late for the opening act, west coast lo-fi noise-pop trio Wavves, and only caught half of their set. Unlike many of the shows we've seen in recent months at the Fillmore, the floor of the theater was packed for the openers. But the bulk of the crowd wasn't there to hear garage punk; they wanted commercially friendly indie alt-pop.
Nevertheless, the little we saw of Wavves impressed us -- and a few others in the crowd -- but we think Churchill's would've been a better setting to fully appreciate their brand of loud, in-your-face music.
By 8:30-ish, Wavves was off stage, and the already crowded floor welcomed a second wave of Phoenix fans. At 8:49, sound techs on stage spoke into the mic, "check, check, check, check," and fans went crazy. It wasn't until a little after 9 that the lights dropped and Phoenix took the stage.
Les amis kicked off their set with "Lisztomania," and even though we're bigger fans of Phoenix's earlier stuff, we couldn't help but dance and sing along with the rest of Jackie Gleason.
Lead singer Thomas Mars introduced the band toward the end of the first song with a simple, "We are Phoenix, from Paris, France." After another track offWolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
, "Lasso," the band went into the vault for "Long Distance Phone Call."
"This is the first time we've played here," Mars told the crowd after a few songs. "Thank you so much for coming."
At the halfway mark, after "North," a white sheet dropped from the stage. Rumors that Daft Punk would show up had been circulating ever since the robotic duo joined Phoenix last week in New York. But when the sheet dropped and the four Phoenix members were jamming to "Love Like a Sunset," sans Daft Punk, the crowd gave up their last hope.
Phoenix ran through an impressive catalog of music, including an acoustic interlude that displayed the lead singer's vocal abilities. And since this was Phoenix's last North American show, the band wanted to end on a high note. Mars sang part of their last song, "1901," from the back of the floor and crowd surfed back to the stage. Before reaching it, he tossed his microphone into the audience, and then invited everyone on stage. We were nearly trampled in the moment, but it was worth the high price of admission.
Personal Bias: I was skeptical about frat boys dry humping their draft-a-date on the floor. But I only saw two douches execute that particular move.
The Crowd: Jailbait to cougars, frat bros to hipsters.
Overheard in the Crowd: Before Phoenix went on, some dude in the pit said: "These assholes need to play a bigger venue. And seriously, what's up with all the tall people."
Partial Set List:
-"Long Distance Call"
-"Love Like Sunset"
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-"Run Run Run"