–By Ryan Ledesma
Phantogram stopped by The CanopyClub Tuesday and blew away the nearly full house with a stunning performance. The set at the Canopy Club in Urbana Illinois is one of only 6 shows in the U.S. before they head off for the European leg of their tour.
I have been a big fan of the electro-pop duo of Sarah Barthel (vocalist, bassist, keyboardist) and Josh Carter (vocalist, guitarist) for a while now, and I had high hopes for their live performance. After seeing the music videos for “Fall in Love” and “Don’t Move”, I was expecting some spectacular visuals, and they blew my expectations out of the water Tuesday night.
They started the show out strong with “You’re Mine” off their latest record, Three. Instantly I knew the show was going to be everything I was hoping for and more. The fully immersive, and perfectly synced up light show followed every beat, and amplified the experience tenfold.
The light show wasn’t just some well timed lighting. It was a perfectly choreographed series of strobes, colored spotlights, floodlights, and projected images that interacted with fog machines. All of this created radical and totally distinct looks that lasted only fractions of a second. It is really the only way to experience Phantogram’s music.
And speaking of the music, they sounded incredible, and the set list was exactly what I was wanting. While they started off with a couple songs from their latest album, they didn’t waste any time getting back to some of their older hits, such as “Don’t Move” and “Mouth Full of Diamonds”. While Three is considered an evolution of their sound, it has kept enough of their electronic roots that when sprinkled in with their past hits the songs blend together flawlessly.
Tying the whole show together was the venue. The Canopy Club was perfect for this event, it was intimate enough that the whole crowd was immersed in the experience, but was able to accommodate a world class show without feeling cramped.
Phantogram will return to the States this summer playing mostly festival dates. These intimate shows will be just about the only time you can catch the band in such an intimate setting (save for a date in California later this year).
Another stunner Tuesday night was the opening act. The Veldt, a shoegaze/alternative/soul group, are promoting the first release in 15 years, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation. It is set to be released on June 2, and I recommend checking it out. They mix together deep drum beats, soulful vocals, and moving guitar riffs, with the result being a truly exceptional sound.
Phantogram set list:
Same Old Blues
Turning Into Stone
Black Out Days
Run Run Blood
Mouthful of Diamonds
Howling at the Moon
Fall in Love
When I’m Small
You Don’t Get Me High Anymore