Phoenix at Montreal's Cepsum Concert Review
Wednesday night, Phoenix performed at the nearly sold out Madison Square Garden. It was a historic event for the french indie rock band who played their biggest show yet. More importantly, during their encore, they were joined on stage by Daft Punk. It was a surprise for everyone as Daft Punk hasn't played in public since 2007. How could Phoenix possibly impress the Montreal crowd after their show at MSG? Read the rest of this review to find out.
The first opening act for Phoenix was a punk-rock band named Wavves. There were exactly two people jumping around while Wavves played. The rest of the crowd, like a forest after a small gust of wind, was stiff and practically motionless. I don't blame them, Wavves was sloppy, uninteresting and a bit awkward. They got off the stage fairly quickly but not until after the drummer knock off the cymbals from the drum kit and half-tripped on a wire.
Tokyo Police Club
A few minutes later, Tokyo Police Club took stage. They quickly won the attention of the once dormant crowd. The contrast in quality with the opening act made Tokyo Police Club look like rock gods. TPC heavily engaged with the crowd joking that they were paid by commission and if they can got them riled up, they'd earn more. They must have made some decent pocket change last night since the majority of the crowd was clapping loudly at the keyboardist's command. Expect to see Tokyo Police Club headlining bigger venues within a few years.
After playing a show at the Madison Square Garden, Phoenix came up north to perform at the University of Montreal's, much smaller ice rink, the Cepsum. The venue was chilly but the crowd was relatively unfazed by the cold as they were too eager to see if Phoenix would live up to their expectations. The band began quickly with Lisztomania and continued, almost in exact track order, with (most of) the songs from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. They also threw in a few oldies for good measure. Overall, it was very similar to the album with very few deviations but it sounded much heavier and lively. It was a great show but not too memorable, that is, until they came back for their lengthy and excellent encore.
As soon their regular set finished, the band left the stage and came to the passage between the floor crowd and the seated area (which luckily for me, happened to be exactly where I was located). Thomas Mars played his cover of the old french Johnny Hallyday song "La fille aux chevaux clairs" which went over really well with the bilingual crowd. The night ended off with 1901 and as Phoenix bid farewell, a massive ovation prompted Thomas to once again return to the crowd, only this time, he left a trail behind with the red-lit microphone cord. Eventually, Thomas crowd-surfed back to the stage and finished off the rest of 1901. The first half of Phoenix's show was great but the encore definitely sealed the deal for everyone. The Ontario couple next to me did not regret their two hour commute to see Phoenix and neither would you.
For other concerts in the Montreal area, make sure to check out the Evenko website.
Click on the image below to see pictures of Phoenix at Cepsum in Montreal.
Phoenix - La Fille au Cheveux Clairs (French)
Phoenix - Love for Granted