There was time when mega-hitmaker band Phoenix was not headlining major music festivals and arenas. Out of all the bands that I've followed in my music travels, it's Phoenix's success that amazes me the most. Not that they are a bad band, they are one of the most talented and exciting mainstream bands in music. Their popularity and admiration from a new fan base is well-earned. The new album Bankrupt! is out next Tuesday and its sure to be a blockbuster of Mumford & Sons-type levels.
On the other hand, those millions of new fans should have been on the bandwagon early on in 2000, when they debuted. They could have enjoyed their progression and the enormous fun of their live shows. "Funky Squaredance" would be bring the house down. It's not like they were some scrappy band with no push. Their were on Astralwerks for their first three albums until moving to Glassnote, now of the major players in the business. Thomas Mars' future wife Sofia Coppola put "Too Young" on the Lost in Translation soundtrack. They were out there.
Even during this time, I would go to shows that weren't sold out. I remember when I saw them at the North Star bar and their were barely a 100 there. On the same tour, they played Maxwell's the room wasn't filled. Any new fan would like a time machine to bring them back to that time to see what it was like. No need. Here are a few of those archived posts. I was actually at their first NYC show before I had this space at Irving Plaza in 2004 for the Alphabetical album (they didn't tour in the U.S. for United). The opening acts -- Dogs Die in Hot Cars, Longview and my old friends Joy Zipper.
- May 9, 2006: Phoenix @ North Star Bar
- August 7, 2006: Phoenix/French Kicks @ Maxwell's
- May 12, 2006: Phoenix @ Bowery Ballroom
- August 8, 2006: Phoenix/French Kicks @ Bowery Ballroom
- October 8, 2006: Phoenix/La Rocca @ Slim's San Francisco
- June 19, 2009: Phoenix / Lightspeed Champion @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
So what I'm saying is that people should have listened to me back in the day.
I'm debating whether to see them in one of their arena shows in the fall or the series amphitheatres they be playing this summer. It's just not going to be the same band that I saw in 2004, 2006 and the last time in 2009. I am resigned that they belong to the masses, no longer my band that I felt no one appreciated but me.
- Phoenix: The MusicSnobbery.com Interview