Jun 142009

When you arrive at Park West, you are kind of surprised at how nice the place is. There are three separate bars, a balcony, plush leather seats, and a cool domed area in the ceiling containing a mirror ball. Unfortunately, all that glitz and glamor quickly fades as the place eventually fills to capacity. My previously prime seat turned into the worst seat in the house as my view was blocked by a wall of butts (and not nice ones either).

I considered standing, but didn’t want to interfere with the people behind me who seemed content with their lackluster view. We decided to walk around for a better spot, and ended up settling for a space squashed up against the wall, under the stairs by the bar. It’s really not worth showing up early to Park West unless you can grab a seat in the balcony, because the pushy and rude latecomers will end up getting a better vantage point than you.

I’m not even going to get into the opening band. One sound sums it up: “ugh”. All that said, Phoenix was pretty amazing. They opened their set with “Lisztomania”, the title track from their newest release “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”. They played a fairly balanced set of both new and old material, some of which I didn’t even recognize. I can only assume some of it was from their first two albums I haven’t heard yet. Despite being previously unheard by me, the sound was still familiar enough for me to enjoy. The only song I really could’ve done without is “Love and Sunset part I and II”, which is a seven minute-long song, which is mostly instrumental.

Phoenix’s performance level was high and fun throughout the entire show, and they were very gracious, stopping to say thank you (“merci, merci”) every couple of songs. Despite the venue and the opening band’s shortcomings, Phoenix’s show at Park West made for a very enjoyable evening that I would repeat.

As long as I could have a balcony seat.

Related post: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix Reviewed

Image Credit: planet99.com

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