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Phoenix Live in at The Star Theatre | Concert Review

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Emotions were running high when Parisian quartet, Phoenix, held their debut concert at The Star Theatre last week.
As soon as the lights dimmed, fans left their seats ecstatically and hurried to the little space in the front of the theatre to be closer to the band. Opening the show with the insanely catchy ‘Entertainment’, off their latest album Bankrupt!, Phoenix sparked an instant delirium as fans sang along word-to-word while punching their fists in the air or jumping up and down in a jovial frenzy. Truth to be told, it felt like a glorified singalong, especially during the breakdown of ‘Entertainment’ which has been highly discussed – has an Asian feel incorporated.

 

Before we even had a minute to catch our breath, Phoenix belted out crowd favourites off their critically acclaimed 2009 album Wolfang Amadeus Phoenix, such as ‘Lasso’ and ‘Liztomania’. The band proceeded to perform an exuberant mix of songs such as their 2006 single ‘Long Distance Call’ and mashups of newer hits like ‘Trying to Be Cool’, ‘Drakka Noir’ and ‘Chloroform’, alternating between old and new songs so devoted fans and new fans are thoroughly satisfied with their setlist whether they want it or not. Phoenix’s fans were in for a treat during ‘Sunskrupt!’ as the lights on the stage subdued, leaving us only the silhouettes of the band, followed by a spectacular exhibit of surreal, dream-like visuals that compliments the performance. I have never felt so mesmerized with concert visuals as I have always found them an immense distraction when appreciating an artist’s performance but Phoenix miraculously managed to change my mind about that.

 

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The band ended their marvelous set with another crowd favourite ‘1901’, which has been featured in numerous advertisements and movies such as the trailer of 2011’s romantic comedy New Year’s Eve, which starred many A-list hollywood actors such as Ashton Kutcher, Halle Berry, Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer. Ever wondered what ‘1901’ is about? The song is a fantasy about Paris, how it was better in 1901 than what it is now.

Just when we assumed that the stupendous Phoenix experience was over, the band came back for an encore performing an acoustic rendition of ‘Countdown’; Thomas Mars serenading directly to lucky fans in the front who were feverishly snapping photographs and taking videos of him with their phones and leaving most of us slightly envious. “We are so excited to perform the next song as it is our first ever song and we are so glad we can perform it for you here, in Singapore”, explained frontman Thomas Mars as he proceeded to sing the first few verses of 2004’s ‘If I Ever Feel Better’, making us fans put on our dancing shoes. The concert finally came to an end with the band performing the hopelessly romantic ‘Rome’ that almost brought tears to my eyes as the song is about unrequited love.

 

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Phoenix surprised us by playing a reprise of ‘Entertainment’ where Thomas Mars unexpectedly bolted off the stage and towards the back of the theatre, thanking fans from all corners, and even humbly high-fiving them as he made his way through the gleeful crowd who were obviously on their wit’s end as the spouse of indie filmmaker Sofia Coppola shook their hands. Thomas Mars crowd surfed momentarily from the middle of the audience and back to the stage where he then gestured to fans to come on stage with the band as they played the last chorus of ‘Entertainment’. I watched as devout fans, men and women, ran to the front climbing the stage frantically, with some even receiving help from the ushers who carried them up. In the spur of the moment, I managed to paced my way to the front and up the stage to join the rest of the fans and Phoenix themselves in the jubilant frenzy.

 

What a night it was with the humble and unassuming rockstars from Versailles.
Phoenix definitely wins the award for best crowd interaction, making them one of the best live bands right now.

 

 

Text by: Erin Riduan
*Images courtesy of Dominic Phua & Marcus Lin of Now/Live Singapore

 

 

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