Phoenix + Catcall – Enmore Theatre (05.08.09)


As the crowd began to filter into the Enmore, lone support act CATCALL, formerly of Kiosk, took to the stage, performing “Be My Earthquake” to open her half-hour-or-so set. Reasonably catchy, the song was enhanced by a rarely seen 3-piece backup band. While other songs were brought down by the same fact, “Be My Earthquake” proved the highlight of the set, and all-in-all it was a decent effort. I’m keen to see her again as her band develops.

But let’s face it – we were all here to see Phoenix, and at 9:15pm on the dot, we were finally given the treat untasted since they stole the show at the inaugural Australian V Festival. But with a new album (the fantastic Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix) in tote, and an even greater sense of energy and excitement in the air – both in the crowd and on the stage – this would be a night well worth the wait.

They opened up with their recent hit “Lisztomania”, and thus wasted no time in setting the crowd into a frenzy. Be they die-hard or the casual listener, everyone was jumping, singing and dancing – unlike many Sydney gigs, they were indeed there for the music, and gave the gig as much life as the band itself. But they wasted no time in keeping the spirits high – “Long Distance Call” and “Consolation Prizes” followed “Lisztomania” and provided a sort of opening that encores are made of.

The majority of the remaining set was off of Wolfgang and It’s Never Been Like That, which while in theory may have annoyed some of the fans of their first two albums, wouldn’t have even registered while they were on stage. It was all just too much fun. And this not only comes down to the energy the band brings on stage (which included a jump into the crowd during show-closer 1901), but it goes back to the very songs themselves. This is brutally fun French pop.

Some people want to throw it into the “Indie” or “Indie Rock” category, but it’s as pop as the French get, and we love it. Whether listening to it at home, in a nightclub, or here in the Enmore, there’s a certain joy obtained from listening to these songs that other bands can’t quite grasp. Needless to say, I couldn’t wipe a massive grin off my face the entire show. In the exaggerated live environment, it because pure euphoria, while remaining undeniably French.

“Run Run Run” (one of the few tracks that was off their earlier 2 albums), much like at V Festival, proved a highlight of the set, “Love Like a Sunset” was played sans Thomas Mars for the instrumental portion, coming off beautifully, while the show closer “1901” was filled with so much energy that you couldn’t have gone off on a better note. I wanted more. We all wanted more. And with that in mind, we were given a virtually perfect show and a kind reminder of how good live music is. I’ve said it many times, but in the current atmosphere, it’s easy to forget why you bother sometimes.

Thankfully Phoenix were here to remind us all, providing the best concert I’ve been to since The Hives in January – and easily the highlight of the Winter. Splendour in the Grass eat your heart out!


During the set, we uploaded a few live reports and pics.
Check them out here!

Phoenix was easily one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. Expect a review as such tomorrow!
10:42 PM Aug 5th from TweetDeck

9:35 PM Aug 5th from TweetDeck

Sydney // Live at Phoenix! Catcall supporting:
8:34 PM Aug 5th from TweetDeck

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.