Phoenix put on a hell of a penultimate show in Orlando the other night. Although they did not stray far from setlists I viewed, they were able to really amp up their sentimental indie rock for the live setting. The performance was loud and bright with a pulsing light show. The band was tight and displayed some jam prowess by extending some songs, adding nifty build-ups or interludes to others, while others got grandiose intros or reworked altogether (See “If I Ever Feel Better” metal version). There is a lot of music these days, but not many bands take the time to really expand on themes and play with their songs (especially indie) in concert. I’m not talking endless noodling, but having the chops and originality to give you something extra in person.
The guys were charming and fun and brought along a powerful drummer to step it up a notch. I’ve noticed several bands this month realize the impact of a good drummer by bringing in true ringers to lay down the backbone. The guy appeared to be middle eastern which is cool to see a guy like that rocking out instead of bashing a school girl with a rock. OOOOooooooh damn! Snap! That’s awful. Seriously though, French band, middle eastern (Maybe Indian – I should do my homework) powerhouse on the drums, and an American audience in the palm of their hands; Who needs the UN when you have rock n’ roll?