At the intersection of Daft Punk and Air stands the band Phoenix: a mix of disco, rock’n’roll, and French romance.
Playing a late show at the Observatory North Park, the band burst on stage with “J-Boy” from the new album. The song tells a story about rollercoaster love that seems fun at first, but always turns into disaster, told through a sparkling synth throughout that recalls the cocaine fueled nights at Studio54, the saccharine sweet harmonies lull you with a mantra of “just because of you.”
We all fell into a groove as the hits kept descending upon us. After a brief break, the encore was six songs long and included a lovely stripped down tribute to the recently deceased “French Elvis” Johnny Hallyday. The last encore was “Ti Amo” and lead singer, Thomas Mars, crowd surfed deep into the crowd with a trail of red mic wire following him. When he reached the middle of the crowd, he began to try to stand and the crowd made it work. He looked enchanting as he walked on a sea of bodies in the jam packed venue. We all gazed in awe as he made his way back on stage.
The French decadence was there in the romantic ballads, in the stage diving, and in the way they take on the darkness of the world with a sprinkle of disco and joy. Phoenix provided a safe place to run to amidst the madness, so to them we say Ti Amo.