After moving their show from Red Rocks to 1st Bank Center, due to weather concerns (that never came), one might think that Phoenix and their fans would have left the show feeling like something was missing, like they all got sold short. But alas, Phoenix’s performance forced fans to forget about the incredible sunset that they could have enjoyed at one of their favorite venues and instead packed all of their energies into one unforgettably wonderful night at 1st Bank Center.
They provided their own sunset to start as a digital screen backdrop blasted orange and purple hues during one of their newest singles “Entertainment” from the 2013 release, “Bankrupt!”. They continued playing familiar hits to start (“Lasso”, “Lisztomania”, “Long Distance Call”) and I began to wonder if they were going to come on too strong and not be able to hold onto that energy through out the set. But then I realized that this is Phoenix. This is a band that I believe has somehow magically mixed Daft Punk with The Strokes and birthed an incredibly tight and professional live band but still perform like it’s new and exciting.
The backdrop that provided the sunset to start elevated the already talented Phoenix to a whole different level of live professionalism. The screen would show different colors as if almost a mood ring itself. It also showed an epic shot of Mt. Everest during a medley breakdown into the song “Chloroform”. The lights dimmed on the keyboardist and drummer and all fans could see were their silhouettes guiding them through the infamous peak whilst rocking out.
The only problem that fans seemed to have was deciding whether they wanted to dance or bang their heads. Phoenix went back and forth seamlessly between the two options. It was hard to find a song that most had never heard, but Phoenix made sure to make nods at older favorites using medleys to incorporate songs like “Rally”, “Too Young”, and “Run Run Run”. All aside, Phoenix proves that its not the venue that makes the show, it is the band that fills it.