A few weeks ago, we talked about why Phoenix as a band is a gamechanger as they exemplified how concerts in the age of social media and internet memes are different. At their Hollywood Bowl show, every act was theatrical–from serenading the audience IN THE CROWD to inviting fans onstage. The last example–“making sure your special guests are really special” now seems prescient to me, when the best French rock band in the world appeared at the Madison Square Garden with their buddies Daft Punk as surprise guests.
As the review from our sister publication the Village Voice stated, it was better than breathing normally. (Yes, even on YouTube. Watch below)
The stage was suddenly sharply awash in bright white triangles and the shadowy, obscured outlines of two new figures, whom much of the audience seemed remarkably disinterested in… until they were revealed to be Daft Punk. Proving the rumors accurate, and the deep kinship of the French self-evident, the Paris electro duo served sharp splinters of “”Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” over the arena's disbelieving clamor (a buzz that went from confusion to abject hysteria in about three seconds) as Phoenix sprinted back onstage to churn out heavy, nearly sludgy rock accompaniment. Sorry, Kanye, but this may have been the best cover ever: perfectly mixed, unprecedented, visceral.