All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography. All rights reserved.
If there were one take away from Phantogram’s Sunday night performance, it was the noticeable amount of confidence* the band exuded on the First Avenue stage. Noticeable in the respect lead vocalist Sarah Barthel added bass to her onstage repertoire. Noticeable in the respect guitarist Josh Carter shared vocal duties on several songs (live and on the new album, Three.) Noticeable in the respect of pure stage presence and presentation.
Phantogram took “Prince’s stage” in an allure of mystery. Moving shapes and animations were projected against a scrim which shrouded the stage. Strobes revealed glimpses and silhouettes of Josh and Sarah for the first four songs of the night. After “Turning Into Stone”, the scrim fell to the ground and the audience was rewarded with the back-and-forth hip-hop of “You’re Mine” and urgent “Same Old Blues.” The band did an exceptional job of mixing new and old, but the show climaxed with the dramatic “Destroyer,” in which smoke emitted from Sarah’s gown as serenaded the audience from an upstage pedestal. Phantogram held off on their lead hit, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” until the end of the show.
Fans unable to get their hands on a ticket were oddly rewarded. Phantogram performance was live streamed by Live Nation via YouTube and Facebook. Considering the obstructed views, due to cameras behind the soundboard and stage ends, one of the best seats in the house was in the comfort of your own home. A replay of the performance is not available at this time.
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Black Out Days
Turning Into Stone
Same Old Blues
Mouthful of Diamonds
Howling at the Moon
When I’m Small
Fall in Love
You Don’t Get Me High Anymore
*Their growth may attributed to confirmation among contemporaries. Since 2012, Phantogram have worked alongside Big Boi of Outkast on various projects. They were guests on Big Boi’s 2012 album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. In 2014, they made it official and released their self-titled debut as Big Grams. The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan has been cited naming Phantogram one his favorite young(er) acts.