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Friday, October 2, 2009

Live review: Phoenix at Variety Playhouse. Wed., Sept. 30


By Elliott Garstin

Wednesday night Phoenix rolled into Atlanta with the wind in their sails. This band’s had the luxury of a hard working promotions team inundating you with their music and presence since the release of their latest album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix back in May. It’s been hard to miss ‘em. Car commercials, radio, in-flight music, satellite, in-stores, magazines and every blog going bananas over some suave French dudes that play music that sounds of the moment. And while most media savvy music lovers have a sort of cognitive dissonance to this type of over-exposure, this time the band cut right through to win their hearts.

400 plus Phoenix fans packed Criminal Records earlier in the day to munch on some za and get a little taste of what they were probably missing later on that night. The show at the Variety had been sold out for months. There was an exciting feeling in the air and it carried over to the show later in the evening.

Phoenix hit the stage about 9:15, an incredibly early start time for a generally less than punctual Atlanta crowd, but no matter. From the opening notes of “Lisztomania,” Phoenix had the crowd eating out of their hand. The set was wisely new album heavy, playing every song, but one with a smattering of choice cuts off their first three albums. The last time Phoenix played Atlanta touring in support of It’s Never Been Like That there were maybe fifty people at the Roxy. The band remembered as well, making note of it at one point, but they didn’t seem to mind. They were on top of the world and are shooting for the stars. The show was arena ready and in a few months time don’t be surprised to see Phoenix headlining Madison Square Garden.

(Photo by Perry Julien)

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