[Ed note: This spring the Merry Swankster crew has been tied up with a series of life events: Weddings, babies and other staples of actual adulthood have crept into the otherwise pleasant leisure space previously reserved for music jack-offery. We're still out there, just haven't done a great job documenting it all. We're trying. Today we get some help from Mrs. Swankster and one of our favorite Denver photographers.]
By Kelli Douglas Hernandez
Some weeks ago Phoenix returned to the Rocky Mountain region for their biggest show yet in Denver, a sold out evening at the Ogden Theater. This is the third time in the last year that Phoenix has played Denver. The first time at the Bluebird Theater and then an unexpected promotion to the main stage at Monolith. Neither of those shows disappointed and their most recent set was no different. Most of the songs played came from the highly acclaimed Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix with a few older ditties mixed in.
The one thing that has remained consistent about this band is a tight sound and immense passion along with it. Lead singer Thomas Mars had a few moments where he would just look out across the crowd and you could see it in his eyes and demeanor that he truly feels the moment. Almost humbled by all that has happened for his band over the last few years. Observations validated by his voiced appreciation, something he did many times. Phoenix closed out the show by playing the hit “1901″. During this song, Thomas Mars left the main stage to sing in the crowd, maneuvering all the way down to the barriers near the rear of the main floor. Capping off his crowd excursion with invites to all who could fit from the audience to join him on stage, initiating a big dance party reminiscent of an M.I.A. or Girl Talk performance.
Earlier in the night the band gave a shout to all those who had been present at last year’s show at the Bluebird. That show coincided with the day Michael Jackson died. After Phoenix played their set the DJ put on some MJ music and a substantial portion of the attendees stayed for the spontaneous dance party that followed. Phoenix joined the dancing crowd and I think the night left a memorable impression of Denver in their French hearts. For those of you who have not yet caught the sites and sounds of Phoenix you will get another chance this summer at the otherwise bleh Mile High Music Fest.