Even a month after opening, experiencing the new venue in town is an experience. The Crescent Ballroom in downtown, Phoenix AZ, was opened in early October, only having a handful of shows at first, during the apparent venue transition, concert promoting company, ) (Stateside Presents) was obviously going through. With a low-lit café bistro attached to the front of the venue, it's easy to pass it by as just another trendy bar, but behind the doors, sits a quaint little hall. Smaller than the Marquee Theatre which played home to larger shows, but a bit larger than their other frequented venues like the Rhythm Room and the Clubhouse, and the late Modified Arts.
After an unfortunate drop out of openers, and a nervous local DJ playing for... well for a very long time, the lights dim and Phantogram casually strolls on stage. Opening up with a simple electronic melody, and going into their faster upbeat "Don’t Move," Phantogram shocked the crowd into dancing, (a feat that’s often impossible at Phoenix shows, despite the artist's overall performance.) With the spotlight casually circling the stage, when it would come across Sarah Barthel (lead vocals, keyboard) in mid-verse, no one could help but fall in love, Josh Carter, the other member of Phantogram, would be right next to her showing his true rock prowess on his Stratocaster. Having a select number of records obviously limits the length of how long one can play, however Phantogram's sound is so haunting that each song is catchy and infectious in their own right, making every one, that one you went to hear.
The energy off their records pales in comparison to what these two, and their touring band mate Tim Oakley, (formerly of the Mathematicians,) brought to the audience. Phantogram manages to bridge loops and mixes from various styles, while maintaining the excitement of creating the music live, a feat that can be often hard to accomplish when working with pre-recorded material. The Crescent Ballroom does well to demonstrate the true extent concert promoter \Stateside Presents (, is dedicated to in ensuring high quality shows and musical experiences. With a powerful in house stock light set-up, and a quality sound system, problems that have become too commonplace at local venues, have been taken into high consideration with the new hall in town. The arrangement of the space seemed to make things cramped, and very cumbersome to navigate, making trips to the bathroom nearly impossible, but everyone's view line was pretty clear, and no one was really more than 100 feet from the stage, giving the Crescent Ballroom a very intimate feel, while maintaining their ability to deliver quality shows. Missing Phantogram during a visit to the Gorge for Sasquatch 2010, had been a particular upsetting let down, and after seeing this performance, rightfully so. In a world constantly infused with dub-step, house, and what could only be described as new-trance, Phantogram provide an electronic rock that brings feet to the dance floor and keeps them there.
1. Intro Don’t Move (Nightlife EP)
2. Bloody Palms (Eyelid Movies)
3. Running From the Cops (Eyelid Movies)
4. Mouthful of Diamonds (Eyelid Movies)
5. As Far as I Can See (Eyelid Movies)
6. Turning Into Stone (Nightlife EP)
7. You Are the Ocean (Eyelid Movies)
8. Make a Fist (Nightlife EP)
9. Turn It Off (Eyelid Movies)
10. 16 Years (Nightlife EP)
11. Futuristic Casket (Eyelid Movies)
12. When Im Small (Eyelid Movies)
13. Nightlife (Nightlife EP)All Dried Up (Eyelid Movies)