On May 25, 2009, French foursome Phoenix launched a midnight sneak attack on the American indie scene. Like the blue, red, and black bombs on the cover of its new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the band came screaming from the sky, out of some unseen nowhere, and detonated in a flash of exquisite art rock so blinding it seemed to be the Big Bang, Part II.
Of course, it wasn't quite that epic. But the total effect of Phoenix's initial popularity explosion was amplified by its unexpectedness. Really, who were these Frenchies with the pretty synths, '70s flourishes, and avant-garde obsessions?
Well, this crew certainly wasn't a gang of fresh conscripts. Having formed more than a decade ago, Phoenix already had three full albums in its arsenal before Wolfgang. But it took time, several continent-crossing tours, and a fourth shot in the studio before bandmates Thomas Mars, Deck D'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, and Christian Mazzalai finally found that perfect explosive formula. And the aftermath has been face-melting: High chart positions in the US, France, and the UK; a pair of indie pop classics in "1901" and "Lisztomania"; and the Grammy for 2010's Best Alternative Album.
Now, if you've already got tickets to next week's sold-out show, go feel Phoenix's firepower this Wednesday at the Fillmore. It will still shock and awe. Only this time, you'll know it's coming.
Phoenix. Wednesday, October 27. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $27.50, plus fees. Visit livenation.com. SOLD OUT.