story and pictures / Coco Bjerre
On Friday a select group of lucky people got the chance to see Phoenix play at The Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where the Grammy Award winning band presented some songs from their upcoming album, Bankrupt! This is no small thing, considering the French band is headlining Coachella and Lollapalooza this year, and that the last time they played in New York, it was at the sold-out Madison Square Garden.
At 6PM Phoenix came on stage and played the first notes from their new song “Entertainment” to a crowd of exhilarated fans. From the first few chords, the band succeeded in getting everyone in the room dancing and screaming, introducing Bankrupt! as a strong follow-up album that might surpass the already high standards set by the critically acclaimed Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
Truth is, when I heard the words “private/free show” and “to present new album,”I expected a 5-song affair (max) that will only include new songs and maybe, with a bit of luck, one old hit. Shockingly, this was not at all the case last night; the band delighted the very enthusiastic audience with a full-force concert that lasted about an hour and a half, and included a perfectly combined mix of new tracks and well-known, beloved hits like “1901,” “Lasso” and “Lisztomania.”
Another remarkable point was the engagement the band members, particularly Thomas Mars (vocals), had with the audience. The charismatic singer left the stage twice to walk among the public, and then sang “Countdown” sitting down on the border of the stage facing the lucky ones that were up front. Before the show ended, he also walked to the rear of the venue and climbed up to a small platform to thank the people on the second floor, and everyone else for being there. Admittedly, the show was being taped, which may suggest this endearing behavior was with the scope to look charming on camera, but still, how many singers of headlining and award-winning bands do this nowadays? Maybe none.
The evening ended with “Rome,” after which the members, who seemed incredibly happy, left the stage to the dismay of everyone present; God knows when there will be another chance to see them again in such closeness. Last but not least, not long after the show ended, Mars came out of the venue to give autographs and take pictures with some fans that had patiently waited outside.
More pics here.
The private event was invite-only for media and SiriusXM listeners, and will be broadcast on Monday April 8 at 8PM ET on Alt Nation. On the other hand, the long-expected (and very promising) album Bankrupt! is scheduled to be released on Loyaute/Glassnote on April 23. Stay tuned for our exclusive feature with Phoenix for LADYGUNN coming soon!