This last Saturday, traffic was backed up all along the UC Berkeley campus as fans lined up to see Phantogram perform live at the Greek Theatre. Accompanied by Miike Snow, and Amsterdam’s own Klangstof, the lineup took us on a mind-altering journey from beginning to end. The stadium filled up before the opening act even came out, as students and the general community alike flooded into the seats to get a glimpse of the band that has over the last few years defined its own genre. Many could even be seen atop the hills surrounding the arena, as even more eagerly took advantage of every chance they could get to sneak a peak at this show. To nobody’s surprise, the show more than lived up to the hype that came with the full house.
Phantogram’s music has not exactly flown under the radar in their tenure on the music scene. The duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have been performing together for the last 10 years, and in that time have built an impressive résumé. Their music consistently resonates with their audience in new and unique ways, and has been featured everywhere from soundtracks accompanying movies in The Hunger Games series, to string of Gillette commercials that have been airing consistently throughout the last several years.
As Phantogram took the stage, they left no ambiguity as to how ready they were to leave everything on the stage. From the get go, we could all tell this was going to be an unforgettable show. As they walked on, Barthel quickly began the show with her vocals by starting off the set with their song You’re Mine, as Carter took his time to finish his cigarette while he strapped on his guitar and milked the attention of his entrance before launching into his verse of the song. The juxtaposition of their auras was the perfect tone setter for the mood that would be set by these two throughout the night.
The group was as stimulating aesthetically as it was musically. On the screen behind them, provocative background graphics that complement their psychedelic melodies perfectly synchronized with beat of the music, and as the night went on, the members of the band began to interact more and more with the audience. Taking opportune chances to connect with the crowd, Barthel commended a man in the audience for ripping his shirt off during their song Calling All, appropriately enough a song centering around the repeated lyrics “We all got a little bit of ho in us.
The two finished their set with You Don’t Get Me High Anymore, the single off their newest album, Three. The band finished their set as the sun set over the Berkeley stage, giving us closure to a performance that left everyone feeling full and satisfied. As Phantogram spends the rest of their summer on tour, we cannot wait to see what is next for them, and eagerly await their next tour in the Bay Area.
Be sure to check out Phantogram by clicking on the links below: