Phoenix Rocks The Bowls Off Hollywood
Opening for the French band were California natives Girls and New York band Grizzly Bear, both delivering short sets and establishing a chilled out vibe. In the case of Grizzly Bear, the magnificent venue of the Hollywood Bowl may have been a little overwhelming, as the band failed to really captivate the audience despite playing favorites from "Vecktamist".
But it was down to Phoenix to bring the party. The band's 4th studio album, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", won a Grammy earlier this year for Best Alternative Music Album and following a fantastic performance at Coachella Music Festival, the band kicked off their fall tour with a rocking performance at the Bowl. Opening with a crowd-rousing "Lisztomania" and "Lasso", Thomas Mars and the gang each held their own and produced some breathtaking sounds effortlessly.
Considering the rather chilled out vibe of the album, Phoenix delivered an exciting gig and livened up their songs with some great showmanship on the part of lead singer Thomas Mars and guitarist Laurent Brancowitz. Before "Love Like A Sunset", a white curtain was dropped in front of the stage, and lights dimmed, for a pretty spectacular guitar duet by the band's guitarists Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai. Later, Mars jumped onto a stage set up in the middle of the audience and beautifully performed "Love For Granted" and two other songs, including a French classic ballad, leaving the entire Bowl spellbound, and just for a moment, transporting the audience into the cobbled streets of Paris circa 1901.
The best thing about Phoenix is their ability to command an audience of over 17,000 with their simple, understated and yet enrapturing performances. Highlights included "Fences", "Everything Is Everything" and "Girlfriend", before the band ended their first tour concert with their biggest hit, "1901". It's hard to imagine Phoenix topping their current wave of success, but after last night's rather magical concert, they certainly left their fans craving more.
VIDEO: Phoenix performing "Girlfriend" at the Hollywood Bowl.
SLIDESHOW: Highlights from the Phoenix concert.
Read reporter Jen Winston's concert review for Neon Tommy here.