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Posts Tagged ‘Phantogram’
16 Aug

Outside Lands Festival returned for its 4th year to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. The environmentally friendly festival featured headliners Phish, Muse, and Arcade Fire. Our writer Ace Ubas and photographer Marcello Ambriz were there to cover the festival for us. Check out our first day review and photos:

Sutro Stage: Release the Sunbird

Oakland’s own Release the Sunbird started off Day 1 of Outside Lands at the Sutro Stage promptly at Noon. For those unfamiliar with Release the Sunbird, it’s a new project by Zach Rogue of Rogue Wave fame. With their lineup rounded out by vocalist Kate Long, bassist Kenny Childers, guitarist Mike Bridavsky, and drummer Pete Schriner, the quintet brought their soothing folk sound that was appropriate to the overcast weather. With people still making their way into Golden Gate Park, only a handful of people got to enjoy their 40 minute set. Their set consisted of songs from their recently released debut Come Back to Us. With songs like single “Always Like the Son,” “No Light,” and “It’s All Around You,” the difference in sound between Rogue’s bands are very distinguishable. Release the Sunbird brings a modern folk sound reminiscent of Band of Horses. Overall, it was a pretty relaxing set that got the crowd to relax before things got louder.

More Release The Sunbird Outside Lands Festival Photos

Sutro Stage: The Joy Formidable

The North Wales trio The Joy Formidable took the stage next. With their debut album entitled “The Big Roar,” they lived up to the name by bringing their shoegaze indie pop sound across the pond and into the bay area. Looking at vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan, you wouldn’t think that she could possess such animalistic energy, showing off her vocal range and intricacy on her guitar on songs “Austere” and “A Heavy Abacus.” On their last song “Whirring,” they abused their respective instruments with Bryan tossing her guitar into her amp multiple times, while bassist Rhydian Dafyidd drove his bass into the ground while twisting and slapping his effects pedals, and drummer Matt Thomas pounded away at his set before slamming his drum sticks onto his cymbals.

More The Joy Formidable Outside Lands Festival Photos

Sutro Stage: Phantogram

Before they made their way to the Pacific Festival in Orange County, Phantogram made a stop at the Sutro Stage to get the crowd dancing. Opening with “As Far As I Can See,” the stunning Sarah Barthel grabbed the mic while showing off her own dance moves to the ridiculously loud bass beats. Guitarist/vocalist Josh Carter took vocal duties on “Pulling My Teeth Out,” “Running from the Cops,” and “You Are the Ocean,” proving that he is more than capable grasping the audience’s attention. They also played a couple of new songs up their upcoming EP (due for release later in the year) that showed them experimenting into different styles. “Don’t Move” was more pop-structured, while “Sixteen Years” featured a venture into the shoe gaze genre when Carter created a pleasing wall of sound that would make fans of My Bloody Valentine smile just a bit. The last two songs of their set was very mesmerizing with Barthel’s hypnotizing synths on “Futuristic Casket” and her looped, echoing vocal melody on “When I’m Small.”

More Phantogram Outside Lands Festival Photos

Twin Peaks Stage: Toro y Moi

I ventured over to the Twin Peaks Stage to catch South Carolina-native Chaz Bundick and his project Toro y Moi. They opened up with the funk throwback New Beat off their latest album “Underneath the Pine.” The guitar was full of twang, but the bass wasn’t loud enough from where I was standing. On the album, Bundick’s vocals are nearly drowned out, but during his set they were loud and clear. During “Go With You”, his voice was nearly Beach Boys-esque, while on “How I Know,” Bundick’s soft vocal melodies was infectious. Fan-favorite “Still Sound” was his ode to 80s synth-pop backed by his live bassist and drummer to create one heck of a soulful rhythm.

More Toro y Moi Outside Lands Festival Photos

Lands End Stage: MGMT

All the girls clamoring to get to the front of the main stage meant it was time for MGMT. With them and Phish both playing this night, you can only hope to see many acid trips to create on hell of a good time. And with an arena rock-esque voice intro, Benjamin Goldwasser, Andrew VanWyngarden, and the rest of their live line-up (Matthew Asti, James Richardson, and Will Berman) entered the stage and jumped right into “Flash Delirium” from their latest effort Congratulations.

By the end of the song, the entire Polo Field was nearly full end-to-end. This got me thinking that the night was about to get crazy. But was I ever wrong. Regardless of how many people were there to see MGMT, the energy level of that set wasn’t what I expected. MGMT didn’t do much interaction with the crowd and played through each song continuously. The crowd wasn’t much help either as the only time they seemed to care about the set was when MGMT played their hits that put them on the map from their first album such as “Time to Pretend” and “Electric Feel.” Other than those songs, the crowd was pretty lackluster for most of their hour-long set which was terribly disappointing to see. Maybe try a smaller stage next time?

More MGMT Outside Lands Festival Photos

Sutro Stage: Ellie Goulding

I made my way back over to the Sutro Stage to catch the end of the set of the very lovely, beautiful, and talented Ellie Goulding. Having just played a sold-out show at the Wiltern, the blonde British import brought her energetic pop sound to the “starry-eyed” San Francisco. Mainly everyone in the front of the stage had star-shaped sunglasses on and a row of fans had a sign that spelled out “Goulding Gate Park,” so fans were definitely dying to see her.

I walked in the middle of “Your Biggest Mistake” with everyone dancing and singing since the start of her set. She then played “Salt Skin” that saw her pick up an acoustic guitar, which she played intricately and delicately, before it jumped into a dance interlude. The lead single and synth-driven Lights got everyone to bounce around like the beach balls in the air. She ended her set with the synth-driven “Animal” and the fan-favorite “Starry Eyed” as fans witnessed one of the best modern pop acts around.

More Ellie Goulding Outside Lands Festival Photos

Lands End Stage: Phish

Phish was definitely a band that I wasn’t familiar with. But I knew that they were a psychedelic/jam band from the early 80s. It really took my by surprise at the thousands of people that filled Polo Field who looked like they weren’t old enough to drink. But once Phish took the stage and started playing, I knew that everyone watching them was a legitimate Phish-head. They were full of energy and even sang along word-for-word. I didn’t think that this kind of turn out would happen so I was definitely in awe. It fully captured the spirit of what a music festival should be like. Did I mention that these fans stayed with them for their 3 HOUR LONG SET.

In regards to the band, they were all masters of their respective instruments. Vocalist/guitarist Trey Anastasio was sharp playing his blistering guitar riffs, drummer Jon Fishman was a monster behind his kit, pounding out some impressive beats, and keyboardist Page McConnell spewed out impressive piano solos that got everyone to cheer when he was showed on screen. For that particular first set, it was hard to tell which songs everyone cheered for the most, but it would definitely have to be a tie between “Tweezer” and “Possum.” It was an hour of blues and groove by a band that proved that they haven’t lost a step since their formation nearly two decades ago.

More Phish Outside Lands Festival Photos

Twin Peaks Stage: The Shins

There was no doubt that the top headliner of the night was the returning Shins. What I really mean by returning is James Mercer with a brand-new line-up. After being on hiatus for nearly 3 years, you can safely assume that most of the people at the festival were there to see them. Mercer’s new band included Richard Swift (keyboards), Modest Mouse member Joe Plummer (drums), Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls (bass), and Jessica Hobson (guitarist). With Mercer having been involved in Broken Bells with Danger Mouse, he and the rest of the band looked to prove to the thousands of anxious eyes that The Shins haven’t gone anywhere and they’re even better than the past.

Immediately they jumped right into their classic “Caring is Creepy” that got massive cheers from the crowd and sang their hearts out with the band. They followed it up with another favorite in Australia. With them playing two of their most popular songs, tons of momentum and adrenaline was flowing through the veins of the band and the fans. Another favorite was played in “New Slang,” where the vocal melodies provided by the other members harmonized so well that it sent a cold chill up my spine; it’s as if that line-up has been playing together since 1997.

And after playing more hits like “Kissing the Lipless,” “So Says I,” “Sea Legs,” and “Saint Simon,” The Shins showed the thousands in attendance that they’re back, and much better than before. When they played “New Slang,” I immediately felt that sense of nostalgia and sent me back to my middle school days. It was beautifully played as fans roared the loudest during their set. It reminded everyone of why they fell in love with that band in the first place.

After playing for nearly an hour and a half, the most impressive part was watching their chemistry with one another, as if they had been playing together for so long. With Mercer being the only member of the group, it shows that he really is the driving force behind The Shins and as long as he still remains, fans should be excited for the future of the band with a new album coming up in 2012 and hopefully many more shows to sing their hearts out.

More The Shins Outside Lands Festival Photos

15 Aug

Phantogram played the Sutro stage Friday afternoon at Outside Lands. Check out photos from their set thanks to our photographer Marcello Ambriz

14 Aug

Here’s our writer Michael Zonenashvili’s review of the second day of Lollapalooza. All images are provided by the official Lollapalooza Flickr page and most of the videos from the Lollapalooza YouTube page.


Phantogram by Dave Mead

The last time I saw Phantogram was in a dark, one-hundred person venue. This time, they were the first band I caught on the second day of Lollapalooza. They had the luxury of convincing me that I could stand up and brave the crowds for the second most difficult day. I, on the other hand, had the luxury of seeing a great performance, unhindered by the time slot and bolstered by the addition of a live drummer. Opening with “Running From the Cops,” Phantogram displayed their mix of deep electronic elements, borderline sexy beats, and overwhelming style. The vocals bouncing between Sara and Josh meshed well, the guitar playing was ever subtle yet necessary, and the setlist short and sweet. “Mouthful of Diamonds” was a definite highlight, with the bass resonating regardless of not having walls to bounce off of.

Friendly Fires:

Friendly Fires by Matt Ellis

Everyone seems to only have enough words to write only about Ed MacFarlane’s dancing. Yes, it’s entertaining. Yes, he’s super into it and has great presence. Yet, people tend to leave out an important element about Friendly Fires: Their music translates wonderfully live. Opening with “Lovesick”, the bassline melding with two drummers and a horn section had the crowd half emulating Ed’s dance moves. The guitar layered over the music was perfect, whether through sliding a maraca over the strings or simply providing the sonic bottom layer to the music. Nailing a great mix of both albums in only forty-five minutes, Friendly Fires showed off why they’re so popular in Europe and deserve the same attention in the US. “On Board” built to its breaking point as Ed entered the festival crowd, sending the camera crew on the stage into a frenzy to capture the magic happening off of the stage. “Kiss of Life” closed the performance with one of the most chest pounding outros, a drum jam picking up in tempo over time until nearly the entire band’s limbs were at breakneck speed on their instruments or dancing.


Dom is the asshole friend that you have to love. “This song is called Jesus, Hail Satan” began “Jesus.” “This one is called BRO-Chicha” began “Bochicha.” Seemingly unenthused as usual, fitting for the fuzzy indie rock he makes, Dom’s performance was exactly what you’d want. Grabbing from their EP ridden repertoire, the band brings a more garage-y than electronic performance live. Shreddy guitar solos adorned “Living In America” (Dom’s “Creep”, even more unenthused than the other tracks) and the band busted out a cover of The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” made the audience forget that Dom still haven’t put out a full length album, too distracted by this solid live act.

Death From Above 1979:

Death From Above 1979 by Matt Ellis

Sadly, I was only in middle school when the hardcore dance-punk outfit took the music world by storm. At least I read they took the music world by storm. Luckily, now they’re back and I was able to see why they were so relevant when I was only discovering that Radiohead existed. Jesse F. Keeler can make some great sounds with his bass, and he can write some awesome riffs. Seabastian Grainger has the energy to shout and snarl through short, punchy tracks while blast-beating away on a drumset. Perhaps this was the only moshpit I saw at Lollapalooza, and perhaps I would’ve preferred to see this band when they were playing dingy clubs. But, even on an enormous stage the band was loud and ballsy, making a lot of noise for just two people. In nearly the same timeslot I saw the Black Keys play the stage last year, it felt like I was seeing their evil twins. Their evil twins, it seemed, could probably beat them up.

Local Natives:

Local Natives by Dave Mead

Local Natives have it all going for them: stellar harmonies, a phenomenal first release, and an impressive live show. Nailing almost the entirety of Gorilla Manor, planning out the setlist to ebb and flow nicely, Local Natives stayed cool in front of their largest audience to date. The tense moments before the big-riff of “Sun Hands” had the audience waiting for the moment, “Warning Sign” was the closest anyone got to David Byrne all weekend, and “Airplanes” had the audience try to sing in harmony. The band mentioned they’d soon be returning to the studio to record a second album, and strangely I found myself wanting to hear a new song live. Sadly, we didn’t get a taste of what’s to come. Although, we did get another reminder that we should expect nothing less than greatness.

Cee Lo:

Cee Lo by Dave Mead

Cee Lo’s set was my high school prom. A cheesy mix of covers and medleys, and unflattering rearrangements of what the audience wanted to hear. Bookending the set with covers of Danzig’s “Mother” and “Don’t Stop Believing” might say enough of the set, but even songs such as “Crazy” and “Fuck You” seemed like karaoke. Constantly stopping songs to urge us to be louder, the female backing band that seems to have a new member with each appearance, and the god-awful Koopa outfit made Cee-Lo’s set campy beyond belief, a mixtape created by someone to serve up to the crowd at prom.

My Morning Jacket:

My Morning Jacket by Jack Edinger

If you aren’t an avid listener of My Morning Jacket, you were probably at the Eminem stage. If you’re a casual listener of My Morning Jacket, it might not have been the most fun set of the weekend, but it might’ve been the most impressive set before you left to see Eminem/Beirut/Pretty Lights. If you were a My Morning Jacket fan, you made up the most pleasantly uncrowded and enthralled crowd of the weekend. With a couple more inches between fans than the most crowded sets of the weekend, My Morning Jacket put on a show that dispelled any beliefs that they aren’t “Big enough” to headline the festival.

Having claimed that they were the best set of Bonnaroo for the past two months, I wondered if my newfound fandom for the group would be tarnished by them not being as great as I remembered. I was wrong. Going through every single song that absolutely needed to be played, and even combining songs to get through more material(Smokin’ From Shooting/Run Thru), the band put on the best performance of the weekend. Jim James shuffled around, thrashed, headbanged, and even powerslid across the stage while hitting every note, including the high pitched squeals at the end of “Wordless Chorus.”

The extended jams on songs reinforced by beliefs that MMJ is the jam band for those who hate jam bands: the extra eight minutes tacked onto “Dondante” had the audience raising open hands into the air to soak in the solos. Even a broken string on “One Big Holiday” didn’t stop the band from their thunderous outro. Then again, nothing can stop My Morning Jacket: they play for two or more hours in intense heat while wearing suits, sometimes in addition to capes and scarves. And you know what? Those capes and scarves are totally okay.

26 Apr

If you happen to be an insomniac like us, you probably caught this already. If you slept (you lucky bastards), here’s the full 2011 Lollapalooza lineup. As always, lineup is subject to change because of denied visas, band breakups, etc. You can pick up your tickets at Will it sell out? We don’t think so but who thought Coachella would sell out in one weekend?

Check out the lineup below:

12th Planet
A Perfect Circle
An Horse
Ana Tijoux
Arctic Monkeys
Beats Antique
Best Coast
Big Audio Dynamite
Black Cards
Black Lips
Boy & Bear
Bright Eyes
Busy P
Cage the Elephant
Cee Lo Green
Chico Trujillo
Christina Perri
City and Colour
Cold War Kids
Collie Buddz
Crystal Castles
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & Nas
Death From Above 1979
Delta Spirit
DJ Mel
Electric Touch
Ellie Goulding
Explosions in the Sky
Feed Me
Fitz & the Tantrums
Flogging Molly
Foo Fighters
Foster the People
Friendly Fires
Girl Talk
Gold Motel
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Imelda May
J. Roddy Walston and the Business
Jay Electronica
Joachim Garraud
Julia Easterlin
Kid Cudi
Kids These Days
Kyle Lucas & Captain Midnite
Lady D
Lia Ices
Local Natives
Lord Huron
Los Bunkers
Lykke Li
Manchester Orchestra
Maps & Atlases
Mayer Hawthorne & the County
Midnight Conspiracy
My Morning Jacket
Noah & The Whale
Patrick Stump
PerryEtty vs Chris Cox
Portugal the Man
Pretty Lights
Rival Schools
Ruby Jane
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
Ryan Leslie
Sam Adams
Skylar Grey
Sleigh Bells
Smith Westerns
Super Mash Bros.
TAB the Band
the Bloody Beetroots Death Crew
the Chain Gang of 1974
the Cars
the Drums
the Glitch Mob
the Joy Formidable
the Kills
the Kingston Springs
the Mountain Goats
the Naked and Famous
the Pains of Being Pure at Heart
the Pretty Reckless
the Vaccines
Tinie Tempah
Titus Andronicus
Two Door Cinema Club
White Lies
Wye Oak
Ximena Saritana
Young Man
Young the Giant

03 Feb

Phantogram performed “Mouthful Of Diamonds” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Check it out and pick up their album Eyelid Movies on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD