KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night Two at the Gibson Amphitheater Last Night

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night Two

December 12, 2010
Gibson Amphitheater
Night number two of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas involved more of an alternative fare compared to the hard rock vibe of night one. Phoenix went from being an earlier opener last year to headliner this year riding the strength of their Grammy winning album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. From the opening strains of “Lisztomania,” Phoenix had the whole crowd dancing in the aisles.

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Thomas Mars swung around his red
microphone cord occasionally jumping down to the pit area to interact
with the fans. Phoenix used their deft combination of synthesizers,
razor sharp guitars and propulsive drumming by Thomas Hedlund to win
over the crowd with songs like “Lasso,” “Girlfriend” and “Rome.”
Bringing down the house with “1901,” Phoenix easily proved they were
worthy of the headlining spot of the evening.

Vampire Weekend also made a repeat visit to the KROQ show backed by their successful sophomore album Contra.
Ironically opening with “Holiday,” it was difficult not to think of the
ubiquitous Volkswagen commercial. Ezra Koenig easily picked at his
Epiphone hollowbody guitar while dialing up some autotune vocals for
“California English.” Chris Baio bounced along to his rollicking bass
lines during “A-Punk” and “Oxford Comma.”
While
I can't offer any photographic proof that Brandon Flowers performed,
Flowers worked through a set mixing up selections from his solo album
and a few Killers tunes. “Crossfire” is his most accessible tune and
soars with its sing along chorus and swirling synthesizers. Flowers
turned back the clock for a faithful cover of “Betty Davis Eyes.”
Flowers connected with the crowd during a slowed down acoustic rendition
of “When You Were Young” and a synthesizer-heavy remix of “Mr.
Brightside.”

The Black Keys were definitely one
of the highlights of the night serving up a warm blanket of guitar fuzz
and pummeling drums. Dan Auerbach stomped across the stage summoning up
his demons in the form of bluesy guitar licks. Auerbach used his
falsetto for the sugary sweet “Everlasting Light” and the down and dirty
“Tighten Up.” The Black Keys will also be doing a live
performance on KCRW on Monday morning.
Descending
like an angel but possessing the vocals of a siren, Florence and The
Machine put together a dazzling set using her operatic vocals for “Heavy
In Your Arms.” The Temper Trap stole The Edge's guitar delay pedal for
the echo filled guitars of “Sweet Disposition.” Broken Bells sounded
fantastic as they worked through “The High Road” and “Vaporize.” Its a
shame they were slotted so low on the bill. Edwarde Sharpe and the
Magnetic Zeros brought their hippie commune good vibes in the form of
“Home” to kick off the night.¬†
Personal Bias: I have seen Phoenix seven times touring behind Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
Crowd: Joe Jonas and Drew Barrymore were apparently in the house.
Overheard in The Crowd: Vicious rumors that Daft Punk would come out to play with Phoenix. So cruel!
Random Notebook Dump: Neon Trees was purposely omitted from this review.

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