Our friends at Chicago station WXRT are doing full Live at Lollapalooza coverage all weekend long, including show reviews, photo galleries, and video and audio clips from exclusive backstage interviews and performances. Below is review of Day 2 headliner Phoenix, along with links to photo galleries, an exclusive backstage interview, and…information on a free Phoenix concert broadcast taking place tonight!
[lastfm]Phoenix[/lastfm] headlined the Budweiser stage Saturday night to a sea of elated fans, and the four-piece band from Versailles, France played an energetic set that focused on their most recent Grammy-winning album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Pop hooks, crunchy guitars, wonky synths, and Thomas Mars’ cooing voice built into a sound that was perfect for filling a space like Grant Park at night.
The show was a piece of pop-rock precision, delivered with great showmanship. Phoenix performed with a sense of sincere excitement and warmth. Mars’ even paused to explain between songs that the last time the band toured through Chicago, they had played a venue the size of just the stage they were now playing on.
Phoenix easily sustained the energy and quality of its performance all the night, thanks to singles like “1901.” “Consolation Prizes,” and “Lasso.” Now on its fourth album, it’s easy to see that the bandmembers have learned to use their stage show to enhance their performance for a large crowd. At Lollapalooza, this included some cheekily constructed moments, including the players freezing in place after a frenzy of cymbal crashes and strobe lights. A colorful light show accompanied their sunnier pop songs, while occasional use of spotlights came during quiet moments, giving the performance space a greater sense depth.
I have to also mention the crowd, who contributed significantly to the fantastic experience of seeing and hearing Phoenix at Lollapalooza. Rarely have I been in crowd so collectively engaged in having fun. A constant sense of enthusiasm spread through the sea of people, which was only enhanced by a few sing-alongs, which included Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and Darude’s trance hit “Sandstorm.” And something completely unusual: people passing a sweet potato from person to person, accompanied by chants of “Eat the yam!”
The show ended with an extended version of “Lisztomania,” which sent the crowd’s energy into the stratosphere.
Phoenix has been able to achieve mass popularity, which is still growing at a quick speed, yet without the bandmembers sacrificing any of the intricacies of their music. I would not be surprised to see them as a regular festival headliner from here on out.
Phoenix Concert Broadcast TONIGHT
Listen to Phoenix perform its latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, in its entirety tonight! Visit WXRT.radio.com at midnight Central Time (1am Eastern, 10pm Pacific) on Sunday, Aug. 8, and click the big Listen Live button to hear this special free broadcast!
And speaking of free, you can also Download “1901”!
WXRT’s Marty Lennartz also caught up with Phoenix for an exclusive backstage interview–check out the video:
For more on all things Lollapalooza, our friends at Chicago station WXRT are doing full Live at Lollapalooza coverage all weekend long, including show reviews, photo galleries, and video and audio clips from exclusive backstage interviews and performances. Visit WXRT to read, watch, and listen to tons more!