Between the heat and pre-holiday celebratory mood, there’s always a certain something special about a 3rd of July gig in Boston. I think back to some other classics – Swirlies in 2015, A Sunny Day In Glasgow in 2014, a top-five-of-all-time Deafheaven at T.T. the Bear’s in 2013 – and feel confident adding Tuesday’s joyous Phoenix set to the list. The French group flies slightly lower on the radar these days than their post-Wolfgang Amadeus, car-commercial-soundtracking, Coachella-headlining heyday, but that’s hardly curbed their charms.
The packed House of Blues wasn’t immune to the ongoing heatwave outside on Tuesday night, but neither the band nor the adoring crowd seemed to sweat it (figuratively, at least). Phoenix were as effortless and airtight as ever, crisply-dressed and spooling out a seemingly endless string of hits. There was nary a lull across 20-odd songs, spanning the world-conquering Wolfgang singles to last year’s underrated Ti Amo and some early-mid oos favorites. Suave lead vocalist Thomas Mars once again proved himself among the unsung great frontmen of his era, singing more than a couple of songs from the front row barricade before venturing all the way to back of the room thanking individual fans after an encore-closing “1901.”
See photos from the whole night below – including opener Leather Can, whose post-punk noise rush resembled something like a one-man-band iteration of early Merchandise.