This past weekend, my dearest brother flew me out to Atlanta, Georgia to go see Phoenix live at the Tabernacle. He and I share very similar taste in music so when my birthday came around, without hesitation he nominated me to go with him. We excitedly left early Saturday morning to catch our flight and returned Sunday afternoon smiling deaf ear to deaf ear.
Of all the concerts I have ever been to, with the exception of the RHCP Stadium Arcadium tour, this was by far the best, most intimate and exhilarating concerts I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. It was a cold and rainy day and we were surrounded by Emory students who I assure you only went to this concert to A. drink and/or B. sing along to the radio hit "1901". Regardless of the oddballs, the obnoxious drunks and belligerent freshmen, my brother and I had a blast.
The opening act was by a band called Two Door Cinema Club from Ireland. Not half bad, but not quite there yet. After their last number, the lights went out completely and Phoenix took the stage, opening with "Lisztomania". The crowd went WILD, including my brother and myself.
As the show went on, the energy of the crowd grew exponentially. What started out as a small, freezing venue quickly became a sweaty, deafening sea of rambunctious fans. Girls were knocking each other down, boys were throwing fists, and a handful of delinquents were knocking each other in the head while wearing metal pails (not quite sure what the thought process was behind all of this). Still, my brother and I were jumping up and down to the beats of "Fences", "Rome", "Countdown", "Girlfriend" (my favorite) and even an oldie, "Too Young". At one point, they killed the momentum by singing a French song, which nobody cared for, but quickly picked it back up with "Armistice". I have to give a ton of credit to their drummer who is insanely talented and evidently pours his heart and soul into those drums.
Just to give you an idea of what the venue looks like and how pumped the crowd was...
Lead singer Thomas Mars repeatedly ended half their songs with, "This is our last song tonight", but of course they performed encore after encore after encore. And with each encore I shouted to my brother, "They HAVE to play 1901, it's like the only song half this crowd knows!" Finally, literally finally, they performed the long awaited song. Even though the radio recently overplayed the [expletive] out of this song, it was epic.
The highlight of my evening at the show, was getting to grab a hold of Thomas Mars's leg and transport his body back on stage as he crowd surfed to the front. Of course there was the token moron who tried to crowd surf, only to plant himself, face first, onto the floor because no one bothered to catch him (true story). Here's a bit blurry video of the madness, including a glimpse of my arm. Unfortunately, I didn't get the failed-crowd-surf-attempt on film.
Most people who know me know that I suffer from tinnitus (tinnitus |'tinit?s; ti'ni-| noun Medicine - ringing or buzzing in the ears). Needless to say, I was partially deaf for a solid 12 hours after the show. But as we left the building, I was able to pickup on a girl saying, "Oh my god, I was like, they HAVE to play that song (referring to "1901"), umm, it's like there's no way they are not playing it!" Apart from that one silly comment, the crowd poured out of the venue chanting, "Phoenix! Phoenix!" and repeating words and phrases like, "So stoked!" and "**** yea!" and "I can't hear you". In conclusion, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix = success.
Phoenix, I will see you again in the near future. Next time, with ear protection, a steady cam, and beer/waterproof gear head to toe.
Travis McElroy MANAGING PARTNER