Phantogram - Crescent Ballroom - 10/23/13 (Photos and Video)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
New York trip hop group Phantogram played its third show in Phoenix last night. The band put on a fantastic show almost two full years ago at Crescent Ballroom, leaving us to wonder if lightning could strike twice, but the band's popularity has definitely grown in the meantime--to the tune of the show selling out well ahead of time and resellers asking asinine prices upwards of $200.
It crossed my mind that the show may have been better suited for a larger venue at this point, but part of the magic ended up being the intimate setting. A sold-out show put 500 plus people at close proximity to core duo Sarah Barthel (vocals and synth) and Josh Carter (vocals and guitar), who were accompanied by a live drummer and second guitarist. The additional members added depth to the songs and gave the duo room to experiment and focus on important parts of the song.
Barthel in particular was interesting to watch. Her cool outfit and crowd interactions instantly stood out, but vocals is where she really shined. She used a sampler to loop some tones, such as the haunting "oohs" in "When I'm Small." A similar effect was employed at the beginning of "Turn it Off," kicking the song off with looped ac apella vocals that added a new layer to the song.
Phantogram's sound was spot on last night. Most of the Eyelid Movies songs were good for dancing, particularly "Mouthful of Diamonds" and "When I'm Small." It seems like the slow songs could be hit or miss, but these tracks also sounded great thanks to filling out the sound with a live band.