HMV Picturehouse, Edinburgh, Sun 29 Aug
This article is from 2010.
Despite a decade of history behind them, it’s 2009 album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix that has given French quartet Phoenix the ammunition to advance from special interest to mainstream concern. Now their delicate but euphoric pop – forging The Strokes, Daft Punk and ELO, but underpinned with melancholy – is soundtracking everything from CSI to BBC football.
Hitting their songwriting stride has earned them a bigger audience, and as this Edge Festival show proves, their showmanship is up to the challenge this presents. With an expanded live line-up and some killer lighting design making for a proper spectacle, they capture the sound of the album, and look effortlessly stylish while doing so. Highlights ‘Girlfriend’ and prog pop epic ‘Love Like a Sunset’ (parts I and II) are received like anthems by a loving audience. When frontman Thomas Mars makes it from the stage to the Picturehouse balcony, passing through the audience with a long neon microphone cable during encore ‘1901’, it’s testament to their combination of the anthemic and the feminine that he gets caresses, not bear hugs.