Show Review: Phantogram @ The Mohawk (10/26)

Two night sold out stand at The Mohawk, I went to the first night. I entertained the thought of coming back for the second. Phantogram is so good. Seriously, they stepped it up in every way from the last time I saw them, a show that I absolutely loved.

Giraffage had opening duty. I had camera duty. Everyone else was on dance duty…

So many pics and a few thoughts after the break.

Giraffage is a new brand of mashup guy that puts down his own beats, found samples and pitch-shifting pop vocals to create a whole new thing. It was a Miley Cyrus vocal from “Party in the USA” taken down several octaves to sound like an R&B bro and you don’t really recognize it until you get to the hands up thing. Boring green lights and card table also masked the lighting and show that was to come. No challenge to the headliner, none needed. People danced.

Phantogram came up in darkness, strobes then firing and the light show began. Apparently, a couple of hours went into tweaking mirrors and programming lights. Pencil spotlights created patterns, strobes would add punch, but unlike last time, there was a lot of fill and color all around. It was lovely, challenging to shoot, but lovely.

As for the band? Two musicians now assist Sarah and Josh on stage, a drummer and a multi-instrumentalist (sorry for not remembering names during their intros). We did have a MacBook crash that ground (IIRC at the start of Turning Into Stone?) things to a halt, but while rebooting and restarting the lighting sync and keyboard mods, both Sarah and Josh joked with the crowd. “Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to hear what was going to happen”. It brought a little levity to what I called the slow-dance mosh pit that the bands intensity causes. Sarah’s vocal was amazingly big, while Josh adds the slightly quirky offset to her powerful perfection. I forced myself to put the camera down for several songs, including all the brand new stuff that “they aren’t supposed to play.” “Don’t Move” may have left the most gob-struck. Sarah destroyed it, lofty and strong all at once.

Can they come back for FFF8?

More pics at the photo site

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