Posted by Moarts51 on:
Phantogram, the dreamy-voiced musical duo from Saratoga Springs, New York, consisting of keyboardist Sarah Barthel and guitarist Josh Carter, took to the stage at SoHo on Thursday November 3, 2011 to bring Day 1 of the four day 3rd Annual New Noise Music Festival to a beautiful close. The concert's time slot fell at the end of the first night, though it could have very well been the festival's grand finale based on the breathtaking quality of the show.
Performing songs from their breakthrough 2009 album Eyelid Movies and the follow-up LP Nightlife just released a couple days ago, Phantogram has solidified their position in the indie music scene as a MUST HEAR for today’s Urban Outfitters wearing generation; they have even garnered attention from general audiences because of their well put together and unique sound. Having performed at such music fests like Sasquatch and Pacific Fest of this year, Santa Barbara was truly lucky to be graced by their presence.
The sold-out show captivated from the start; Sarah’s silhouette complete with bold A-line haircut took front and center against a wall of colored smoke and you could not help but be instantly intrigued. It wasn't long before a steady drum beat filled the intimate venue and slowly the place transformed into one sweaty room as fans danced to catchy instrument-heavy songs like, “Mouthful of Diamonds,” “Don’t Move,” and my personal favorite, “Turn it Off,” which had the room exploding with strobe lights.
Staying true to their name inspired by a visual phenomenon, a special factor of their performance was the stage effects, which were integral to bringing life to the music. With every tune, colorful lights danced alongside Sarah and Josh while both stayed busy on keyboard and guitar, respectively, and alternated vocals. The crowd swayed to the music of the indie-electro-rock band all night from 10:30pm to a little past midnight, entranced by the Phantogram-made fantasy world of lasers, lights, and musical ingenuity.
After an hour and a half of infectious songs, Sarah modestly thanked the audience and the band exited from view. Like any room full of fans, an encore was called for and we couldn’t be happier to be answered with Phantogram’s ever-popular single, “When I’m Small,” theme song for MTV’s Skins. Needless to say, I drove home contently that night while listening to my freshly post-show bought copy of Eyelid Movies.
Playing old favorites and new, songs to “jam out” to, and slower ones that could strike emotional, even vulnerable chords (“Let Me Go,” “You Are The Ocean”), Phantogram gave an overall solid performance that set the bar high for the remaining 40-something bands which would round out New Noise Festival 2011. I was so moved I bought their CD, and that hasn't happened for over ten years!
Check out the video playlist below to relive the night: