In support of their forthcoming seventh album Alpha Zulu, French indie icons Phoenix brought one of the most visually stunning sets of recent memory to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium last week.
Known for their remarkable live prowess, this night was no exception to the Phoenix live experience — behind them were overlapping LED screens that oscillated between typical colorful strobes and identical replications of revered halls and museums of Europe. In the small space of the Ryman, this light show lit the room up, transporting listeners into the world of the elder statesmen of indie rock. Lead singer Thomas Mars was in energetic form, with mic cables flying around him and several dips into the dedicated faithful crowd as they tore through a set that was heavy on their hits over the past 20 years — what other band can open their set up with a run like “Lisztomania”, “Entertainment!”, and “Lasso”? With Alpha Zulu set for release in November, those songs received some shine as well — “Tonight”, the duet with Ezra Koenig, received one of its first live plays and found the band locked into an infectious groove that brought listeners back to 2009. Even “Alpha Zulu”, with its odd “WOO-HA” interjections took off in the crowd, and it’s clear that the band is enjoying working this new adventurous material alongside the iconic tracks that listeners have grown up with. As far as indie music goes, Phoenix has long been at the top of the live hierarchy — this show was an unmatched spectacle in the legendary Ryman.
Check out our photos below: