For a young band that’s gone from basements to the opening slot at Madison Square Garden, Wavves couldn’t seem less interested in singing well. Which, I guess, is what their fans want? People say the ’90s are back, but it seems like Wavves went ahead and did the Vines comeback no one wanted.
The Dirty Projectors are hit or miss live. Their songs are so intricate that a missed note throws the entire sound off, in a bad, disjointed way. The Dirty Projectors cannot do sloppy, but last night they stepped it up. Every part of their r&b funk, geometric time signatures, and Legend Of Zelda sound-effects mixture hit the pocket. While there wasn’t a Bjork cameo (guess they didn’t want to overshadow Phoenix’s other secret guest, huh?) or any Black Flag covers, which would be conceptually amazing if performed at Madison Square Garden, they still got the crowd on their feet for “Stillness Is The Move,” which is no small feat for a band who, just a few years ago, nobody would expect to play anywhere but an art gallery.
Speaking of band’s that no one would’ve pegged to play MSG a few years ago, Phoenix.Though not as showy about genre fusions as Dirty Projectors, the four-piece (plus a poor drummer and keyboardist who don’t make the photos) play arena rock, indie-pop, house-infused disco, psych-rock woosh and lovely Franco-phile longing all like different counter-melodies in the same song. Clearly overjoyed to have finally broken wide after years of hard work, the group started with “Lisztomania,” but it was the one-two punch of romantic confusion and of “Lasso” and “Girlfriend” which solidified thier success, not a car advertisement fluke.
Does Thomas Mars own anything other than that blue shirt? I’ve seen Phoenix multiple times since the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and it’s always the same with him. Kind of a nondescript uniform.
In a moment that set of a million tweets of “wtf” and plenty of Youtube videos filled with “ohmygods,” Daft Punk played a brief set during Phoenix’s encore. The old friends (Phoenix backed Daft Punk during the mid-90s) jammed arena-heavy runs through “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “Around The World.” At this time the crowd went from “excited” to “lost their damn mind.” The show evolved into a remixed, synth-slathered run through of “1901,” including an extended Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, riff, during which Mars ran to the lower bowl of the arena, down to the floor and crowd surfed his way back onstage for a final round of “fold it! Fold it! Fold it!” Still no idea what that means, or why the meteor tower is overrated, but at this point Pheonix had earned the right to tell America whatever cryptic nonsense it wanted.